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“I did it again,” a club player told me ruefully. “I put my head in the punch bowl.”
“What’s that all about?”
“It’s just an expression at my house. ‘He who puts head in punch bowl gets punch in nose.’ It’s what my wife says I deserve after I make a silly mistake.”
My friend was today’s West and found the good lead of the queen of clubs against South’s game.
“When my wife signaled with the 10, I led another club,” my friend said. “She won with the nine and led the ace, and when declarer ruffed with the ten of trumps, I overruffed with the jack.
“Declarer won my spade shift and cashed the A-K of trumps. When my wife’s queen fell, he drew my last trump and claimed, and my wife said she would make some punch.”
West made a textboook mistake: overruffing with a high trump that would always score anyway. If West discards on the third club instead of overruffing, South can cash the A-K of trumps next, but West’s J-7 of trumps are worth two tricks behind South’s 9-6.
You hold: ´ J 9 5 ™ Q 8 © Q 10 5 ® A K 10 9 2. You open one club, your partner responds one heart, you bid 1NT and he jumps to three hearts. What do you say?
A: Partner’s second-round jump in his own suit is invitational to game. If he had a good six-card suit and enough strength for game, he’d have bid four hearts. Though you have good intermediate cards, your values are minimum. Pass. To bid any game would be too bold.
South dealer
N-S vulnerable

NORTH
´ A Q 6 4
™ 5
© A J 9 3
® J 7 6 4

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

SOUTH
´ K 3 2
™ A K 10 9 6 2
© K 4
® 8 3

South West North East
1 ™ Pass 1 ´ Pass
2 ™ Pass 2 NT Pass
4 ™ All Pass
Opening lead – ® Q