Chicago Sun-Times - - WEATHER - BY FRANK STE­WART

My friend the English pro­fes­sor says that a plateau is the high­est form of flat­tery. If I were North in to­day’s deal, I would surely com­pli­ment my part­ner if he made the con­tract.

West led a trump. Many NorthSouth­s would have em­ployed a “trans­fer” re­sponse to 1NT, mak­ing North de­clarer at four hearts. That would have lost in to­day’s lay­out since East would have led a fa­tal queen of di­a­monds.

If South had drawn trumps and lost a club fi­nesse, he would have gone down, los­ing three di­a­monds as well. But South saw the ne­ces­sity to keep East from get­ting the lead, so South won the first trump in dummy and led a spade: three, nine (!), queen.

South won the next trump, took the king of spades, led a club to dummy’s ace and dis­carded his last club on the ace of spades. He next led the queen of clubs for a ruff­ing fi­nesse.

When East’s king covered, South ruffed, led a trump to dummy and threw two di­a­monds on the good clubs. Mak­ing five, and flat-out well played.

Daily ques­tion

You hold: ♠ Q752 ♥ 75 ♦ A973 ♣ 8 6 2. The dealer, at your left, opens one club. Your part­ner dou­bles, you re­spond one spade and he raises to three spades, What do you say?

An­swer: Your part­ner has a huge hand. He has un­der­taken a nine-trick con­tract, and for all he knows, you have no points and four low spades. Bid four spades and ex­pect to make it eas­ily. In a sit­u­a­tion like this, don’t fo­cus on your hand’s weak­ness; imag­ine how much worse it might be. North dealer

Both sides vul­ner­a­ble

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