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Recently I enjoyed a visit to the Birmingham Bridge Club for a book signing and to play. In today’s deal my partner missed a difficult chance on defense as East. (To test your own defense, cover the West/South cards.)

South’s bidding was odd. She bid a non-forcing two clubs, then jumped to game over North’s weak spade preference. I led a diamond: three, ace, king. What should East do?

East led a club. South took the A-K, ruffed a club in dummy and led the ten of trumps: king, ace. She lost a trump and a heart, making four. Plus 620 was a top score for North-South.

To beat the game, East must lead a low trump at Trick Two. If South takes the ace, she loses two trumps. If she plays low, I win, return a trump and get a club trick.

The book I signed was my most recent, “Who Has the Queen?”, a quiz-format treatment of how to read your opponents’ cards. For a postpaid copy, send $21.95 to PO Box 962, Fayette AL 35555. Tell me how you would like it signed. Profits are donated.

You hold: ´ K 4 ™ J 10 9 7 5 2 © A 5 ® 6 4 2. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart, he bids one spade and you rebid two hearts. Partner then raises to three hearts. What do you say?

A: Your heart suit is only jack-high, but you have good spots. Moreover, you have two valuable honors in partner’s suits. Bid four hearts. If his hand is short in clubs, as his bidding indicates, you should have an excellent play for 10 tricks.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

´ 10 9

™ K Q 8 6 4

© J 10 9 3

® J 5

WEST EAST

´ Q 6 5 ´ K 4

™ A ™ J 10 9 7 5 2

© Q 8 7 6 4 2 © A 5

® Q 10 9 ® 6 4 2

SOUTH

´ A J 8 7 3 2

™ 3

© K

® A K 8 7 3

South West North East

1 ´ Pass 1 NT Pass

2 ® Pass 2 ´ Pass

4 ´(!) All Pass

Opening lead – © 6