Chicago Sun-Times - - WEATHER - BY FRANK STE­WART

You’re to­day’s East, and NorthSouth reach 3NT. South’s 2NT in­vites game, and since North has nine points — a max­i­mum sin­gle raise — he ac­cepts. He bids the ninet­rick notrump game, not the 11-trick club game.

West leads the deuce of diamonds, dummy plays low and your king wins. To re­turn your part­ner’s lead is tempt­ing, but South surely has some­thing in diamonds to bid 2NT, and since West’s lead sug­gests only four diamonds, a di­a­mond re­turn may not set up enough de­fen­sive tricks.

Say you brave part­ner’s wrath by shift­ing to a low spade: jack, queen, five. When he re­turns the seven, play low to keep com­mu­ni­ca­tion. You hope he has an en­try plus a third spade.

Sure enough, South has only eight tricks. When he loses a club fi­nesse to the king, West leads his last spade, and you win and run your suit.

South could — maybe should — make 3NT by win­ning the first trick and fi­ness­ing in clubs. Tak­ing ad­van­tage of your op­po­nents’ mis­guesses is part of win­ning.

Daily ques­tion

You hold: ♠ KJ ♥ AQJ2 ♦ Q105 ♣ AJ 10 8. You open one club (your range for a 1NT open­ing is 15 to 17 points), and your part­ner bids one spade. The op­po­nents pass. What do you say?

An­swer: Bid 2NT, promis­ing 18 to maybe 20 points with bal­anced pat­tern. A bid of two hearts would be an er­ror. Though that bid would be a “re­verse” and would show sub­stan­tial ex­tra strength, it would sug­gest a more dis­tri­bu­tional hand: longer clubs than hearts.

South dealer

N-S vul­ner­a­ble

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