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Some people can’t count to 10: They’re the ones ahead of you in the express lane at the grocery. It’s less apparent that some people have trouble counting to four.
Today’s West led his singleton heart against four spades, and East took the ace and hastened to return a heart for his partner to ruff. West duly ruffed South’s jack and shifted to a club, but South won and led a trump. East won and led a third heart, but when West couldn’t produce another trump, South was safe for 10 tricks.
To beat a major-suit game, a defender must count to four. East could see three tricks: a heart, a ruff and the ace of trumps. Unless by some miracle West held the ace of clubs or king of trumps, East’s only chance for a fourth trick was a diamond ruff.
At Trick Two East must lead his singleton diamond; since he has the ace of trumps, West’s ruff can wait. When South wins and leads a trump, East takes the ace, gives West a heart ruff and receives a diamond ruff in return.

You hold: ´ A 2 ™ A Q 10 8 6 3 © 4 ® Q 10 7 5. You open one heart, your partner responds one spade, you rebid two hearts and he tries 2NT. You next bid three clubs, and partner returns to three hearts. What do you say?
A: Your first three bids showed six hearts, four clubs and minimum values. Over your three clubs, your partner could have jumped to four hearts with a suitable hand – but didn’t. He signed off at three hearts. Pass.
South dealer
N-S vulnerable

NORTH
´ Q 10 8 3
™ 9 7 4
© A K J 7 3
® 8

WEST EAST
´ 7 6 ´ A 2
™ 2 ™ A Q 10 8 6 3
© 10 9 8 6 2 © 4
® K 9 6 3 2 ® Q 10 7 5

SOUTH
´ K J 9 5 4
™ K J 5
© Q 5
® A J 4

South West North East
1 ´ Pass 2 © 2 ™
2 NT Pass 4 ´ All Pass

Opening lead – ™ 2