To start the week, test your de­fense as West. Cover the East and South cards. You wouldn’t have pre­empted with three clubs in first or se­cond seat, but be­cause

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Frank Ste­wart

your part­ner was a passed hand, you could take lib­er­ties.

Against South’s three di­a­monds, you cash the king and queen of clubs, and East fol­lows with the three and ten. How do you con­tinue?

You need five tricks to beat the con­tract. If East has, say, two trump tricks and the ace of hearts, you have no wor­ries. But you may need a spade trick — and you may need to es­tab­lish it quickly, be­fore de­clarer can draw trumps and set up dummy’s heart suit for a spade dis­card.

In real life, West did shift to a spade at the third trick, but to the jack. That wasn’t good enough. South won and led the ace and low trump to East’s king. South won the spade re­turn with the ten and lost only a heart to East’s ace.

At Trick Three, West must shift to the three of spades, a coun­ter­in­tu­itive play. South must go down.

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & AK9 h K Q86 ( A983 $ 8 6. Your part­ner opens one di­a­mond, you re­spond one heart and he bids two clubs. The op­po­nents pass. What do you say?

An­swer: A small slam is likely, and a grand slam is pos­si­ble. You need to cre­ate a forc­ing auc­tion. If a jump to three di­a­monds now would be forc­ing, fine. But many pairs treat such a jump-pref­er­ence as in­vi­ta­tional. In that case, bid two spades, plan­ning to sup­port the di­a­monds next. by Dana Sum­mers

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