The Washington Post - - TELEVISION - —FrankSte­wart © 2017, TRIBUNE CON­TENT AGENCY, LLC.

“I’ve writ­ten you be­fore about my hypochon­driac hus­band,” a fan writes. “He’s de­ter­mined to get his money’s worth from his health in­sur­ance. If I serve a cured ham, he wants to know what it had. And yes, he still post­mortems ev­ery deal.”

My fan’s hus­band was South. At six clubs, he took the ace of hearts, cashed the K-A of di­a­monds and ruffed a di­a­mond in dummy.

“He ruffed a heart,” my fan says, “and took the A-K-Q of trumps. He lost a trump to East plus a di­a­mond. Down one.

“My hus­band wanted to au­topsy our bid­ding. I thought it was fine. But now he’s even say­ing he suf­fers from acute hypochon­dria. Is he be­yond help?”

I may not help South’s con­di­tion by say­ing six clubs was cold. South can ruff a heart at the sec­ond trick, take the top di­a­monds, ruff a di­a­mond and ruff a heart. He then takes the A-K of trumps. When West dis­cards, South goes to the ace of spades and ruffs a spade. He ex­its with his last di­a­mond at Trick 11 and scores his Q-10 of trumps.


You hold: AJ96532 K5 6 You open one spade, your part­ner bids two hearts, you re­bid two spades and he tries 3NT. What do you say?

AN­SWER: Notrump looks wrong. Bid four hearts. Part­ner’s two hearts showed a five-card or longer suit, so your sup­port is ad­e­quate. (In­deed, you would of­ten have raised di­rectly with three-card sup­port.) He should ex­pect you to hold six or more spades and can go to four spades if he wants.

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