On internet sites such as the popular “Bridge Winners,” a post headed “ATB” means that someone wants opinions on a poor result: “Assess The Blame.”
In a team match, both Wests led the deuce of diamonds against 3NT. One declarer played low from dummy, and East took the ace and saw no future in diamonds. He shifted to the queen of clubs. Then South had to guess the queen of hearts for his contract, and he misguessed.
The other declarer put up dummy’s queen (!) on the first diamond, and East won and returned the five. South played the four and nine, hiding his three. West took the jack and king, so South had his ninth trick.
At the second table, which defender erred?
East might have shifted to clubs at Trick Two; South’s queen-of-diamonds play was suspicious. But West erred by taking the king of diamonds. If South held 10-9-4, he would have played low from dummy on the first diamond; with A-105-3, East would have led the three at the second trick.
Question: You hold: ♠ Q5 2 ♥ KJ9 ♦ 10943 ♣ 9 7 2. Your partner opens one spade. South in today’s deal responded 1NT with this hand. Do you agree?
Answer: South’s action looks odd to me. A raise to two spades would have been normal, confirming a trump fit (and making it hard for the opponents to enter the auction). Perhaps South judged that a raise would be psychologically too encouraging and might induce North to bid too much. North dealer Neither side vulnerable