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Cy the Cynic defines "experience" as having the sinking feeling that you've made this mistake before. Players would avoid more disasters if they took time to plan before plunging ahead.

Today's West led a diamond against four hearts, and declarer played dummy's queen without giving the matter any thought. He had a sinking feeling when East took the king and was sunk when East shifted to the king of spades. South played low, won the next spade and drew trumps, but the defense was sure to get a club trick and a spade.

A careful declarer forms a plan of play. South's best chance for the contract is to take the ace of diamonds, gaining time, and lead a low club from dummy.

Say East wins, cashes the king of diamonds and shifts to spades. South wins, takes the ace of trumps, leads a club to the ace and ruffs a club high. He returns a trump to dummy and ruffs a club. South can then draw the last trump in dummy and cash the good fifth club for his 10th trick.

You hold: 7 4 2 T K J 3 A Q A 10 8 5 2. You open one club, your partner responds one diamond, you bid 1NT and he tries two hearts. What do you say?

A: Partner has "reversed" and has enough strength for game at least. Many actions are possible: three clubs to show the long suit, or three diamonds since the A-Q is promising support. Raise to three hearts. Partner won't expect four-card support since you didn't bid one heart over one diamond.

North dealer

Both sides vulnerable





NORTH

7 4 2

T K J 3

A Q

A 10 8 5 2



WEST EAST

10 6 5 3 K Q J

T 6 5 2 T 7

J 9 7 4 K 8 6 3 2

K 6 Q J 9 4



SOUTH

A 9 8

T A Q 10 9 8 4

10 5

7 3



North East South West

1 Pass 1 T Pass

2 T Pass 4 T All Pass

Opening lead - 4