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Someone sent me some whimsical product “warning labels”:

On a tub: “Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

On panty hose: “Not to be used in committing a robbery.”

On a microscope: “Objects are smaller and less alarming than they appear.”

You don’t need a microscope to see the problem in today’s deal: To make 6NT, South must pick up the clubs. When West led a spade, East took the ace and exited with a heart. South won and promptly led the queen of clubs: king, ace. He finessed with the nine next, winning, but when West showed out, East was due a club trick.

The slam should have come with a warning label: “Do not play without counting the defenders’ distribution.”

South should delay his club play and cash his other winners. He learns that West had six spades and three or more of each red suit, hence one club at most. Since South’s only chance is to find West with the singleton king of clubs, he leads a low club from his hand at the end.

You hold: ´ J 5 4 ™ A Q 6 © K 9 3 ® A 6 4 2. You open one club, your partner responds one spade, you bid 1NT and he jumps to three hearts. What do you say?

A: Your partner has suggested a suit contract and has invited you to raise his second suit with four-card support or to show a preference for his first suit. Bid three spades. If your spades were stronger – if your hand were K Q 4, A 7 6, 10 9 4, A J 4 2 – you would jump to four spades.

North dealer

Neither side vulnerable

NORTH

´ J 5 4

™ A Q 6

© K 9 3

® A 6 4 2

WEST EAST

´ 10 9 8 7 6 3 ´ A

™ 10 8 4 ™ 9 7 5 2

© 8 6 2 © 10 7 5 4

® K ® 10 8 7 5

SOUTH

´ K Q 2

™ K J 3

© A Q J

® Q J 9 3

North East South West

1 ® Pass 2 NT Pass

3 NT Pass 6 NT All Pass

Opening lead – ´ 10