Bridge: July 19, 2023

“My partner was declarer and lost his contract,” a club player told me, “and he let slip a four-letter word. It’s happened before, and I’m afraid we’ll get booted out of the club. Maybe he needs calming medication.”

“Some Christian friends of mine run a pharmacy,” I said. “I think they sell a med that inhibits swearing. It’s called ‘darnitol.’”

At five spades, South discarded a diamond from dummy and took his ace of hearts. He drew trumps and led a club from dummy to his jack. West won and forced dummy to ruff a heart. South then led a second club to his queen … and cursed when West took the ace and ten.

“Partner definitely needs help,” my friend said.


South could also improve his play. He can ruff a heart at Trick Two, lead a trump to his hand and ruff his last heart. He draws the last trump, takes the top diamonds and ruffs his last diamond.

South then leads a club to his jack. When West wins, he must take his second high club or concede a ruff-sluff.


You hold: S 9 3 H K Q J 10 6 3 D 7 2 C A K 10. You open one heart, your partner bids one spade, you rebid two hearts and he tries 2NT. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your hand is a “maximum minimum.” You have solid hearts and primary values in clubs. Partner may have the queen of clubs for his bid of 2NT. Jump to four hearts. If he holds a sub-minimum hand such as A1054,42,A87,Q876, you will have a chance for 11 tricks.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S K Q 7 6 5 2

H None

D A 6 3

C 7 6 3 2


S 9 3

H K Q J 10 6 3

D 7 2

C A K 10


S 8

H 9 8 7 4

D Q J 10 9 5

C 9 5 4


S A J 10 4

H A 5 2

D K 8 4

C Q J 8

South West North East
1 NT 2 H 3 H 5 H
5 S All Pass
Opening lead — H K

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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