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Today’s North was Grapefruit, my club’s member with an acid disposition and a tongue to match.

Against 3NT, West led the seven of spades: deuce, king, three. When East returned the jack, South won and tried a heart finesse with dummy’s jack. East took the king and led a club, and South played low. West won and cashed the Q-10 of spades; down one.

“I could’ve tried for a 3-3 heart break,” South said, “but the club finesse was the better percentage play.”

“You have a point,” Grapefruit said, “but if you put your hat on, maybe nobody would notice.”

“What does that mean?” South flared.

Grapefruit told the kibitzers that South couldn’t hit sand if he fell off a camel.

East surely has two spade honors; West would lead the queen from, say, Q-J-10-7. So South must win the first spade. He leads a diamond to dummy to finesse in clubs, dislodging West’s entry while the spades are blocked. Even when the heart finesse fails also, South loses only four tricks.

You hold: ´ K J ™ K 10 9 3 © 7 4 3 ® 8 5 3 2. Your partner opens one spade, you respond 1NT and he bids two hearts. What do you say

A: With a seven-point hand such as 7 6, J 10 9 3, Q J 3, K 5 3 2, you would pass in a flash, but the actual hand contains three working honors. Raise to three hearts, especially if vulnerable with a big game bonus at stake. Your partner may have a chance for 10 tricks even if he holds a minimum hand such as A Q 10 7 6, A 7 6 5, 9 2, A 4.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

´ 9 6 5 2

™ A Q J 7

© Q 9

® Q 10 6

WEST EAST

´ Q 10 8 7 ´ K J

™ 8 4 ™ K 10 9 3

© 8 6 5 2 © 7 4 3

® K 9 4 ® 8 5 3 2

SOUTH

´ A 4 3

™ 6 5 2

© A K J 10

® A J 7

South West North East

1 NT Pass 2 ® Pass

2 © Pass 3 NT All Pass

Opening lead – ´ 7