“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.
S K Q 7 6 5 2
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
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
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