To­day’s deal (re­ported by Barry Ri­gal) arose in the Mixed Pairs at the Spring NABC.

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - Daily Ques­tion:

Cover the West/South cards and de­fend as East. Against 3NT, West leads the five of clubs. Dummy plays low. Your thoughts?

South has at least one club honor. If West had the A-J, South would have put up dummy’s king. West could have A-x-x-x-x-x-x, but that is un­likely with so many lower club spots miss­ing.

If South has the ace, you won’t beat 3NT; he has eight top tricks and can surely de­velop more in a red suit. If he has A-J, your play is moot.

The cru­cial case is when West has A-8-x-x-x-x. If you play the queen on the first club, West can win your club re­turn and set up his suit, but he won’t re­gain the lead to take his long clubs.

Your win­ning play is the 20 of clubs. You will get in with the king of di­a­monds later to lead the queen of clubs, and West over­takes to run the clubs. South could suc­ceed by let­ting your 10 win; he would need a crys­tal ball to find that play.

You hold: 9742 A 10 8 K 8 7 5 $ Q 10. The dealer, at your left, opens one heart. Your part­ner dou­bles, and the next player bids three hearts. What do you say?

An­swer: Your op­po­nent’s three hearts is preemp­tive, but you can com­pete. Some play­ers would solve the prob­lem with a “re­spon­sive dou­ble.” Oth­ers would bid three spades. To bid a weak suit is un­pleas­ant, but what you are re­ally do­ing is “sup­port­ing” a suit part­ner’s dou­ble im­plied.

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