Avoid arguments. Few things are worse than the moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

In today's deal, South went down at six diamonds - and then argued for her line of play. She took the ace of clubs and led a trump to dummy's ace, declining the finesse. South next tried a heart to her queen, hoping to throw dummy's last club on the ace. West produced the king, and South went down two.

"After you take the ace of trumps," North said, "start the spades. When spades break 3-3, you get rid of your last club on the fourth spade as East ruffs."

"My play was best," South argued. "Spades will break 3-3 only 36 percent of the time. The heart finesse was 50-50."

"True," North said, "but you also succeed when the defender with the king of trumps has four spades. You can ruff the fourth spade, take the ace of hearts, ruff a heart and discard your last club on the fifth spade. Your chances are almost 60 percent."

And South had to admit she was wrong.

You hold: A Q 8 6 2 T 8 A Q 9 4 3 10 2. You open one spade, and your partner responds two hearts. What do you say?

A: You have a minimum opening bid - 12 high-card points - and partner's response hasn't improved it, hence you must prefer a minimum, non-encouraging second bid. Rebid two spades. A bid of three diamonds would be a so-called "high reverse" and would promise much more than minimum strength.

South dealer

Neither side vulnerable


A Q 8 6 2

T 8

A Q 9 4 3

10 2


10 7 5 J 9 3

T K 10 7 6 2 T J 9 4 3

7 K 6

K Q 7 4 J 9 5 3


K 4

T A Q 5

J 10 8 5 2

A 8 6

South West North East

1 Pass 1 Pass

1 NT Pass 3 Pass

3 T Pass 3 Pass

4 Pass 6 All Pass

Opening lead - K