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Bridge: March 12, 2019

Cy the Cynic, who distrusts government like everything else, says that if you laid out all the laws end to end, there wouldn’t be an end. Bridge “rules” seem like that. Beginners learn them; better players learn when to ignore them.
At today’s four hearts, South ruffed the second spade, led a trump to dummy and returned a club. East, who knew the rule about “second hand low” on defense, played the five: queen, ace.
South ruffed the next spade, led a trump to dummy and returned a second club. East took his king, but South won the rest, pitching a diamond from dummy on his jack of clubs.
SECOND CLUB
East might as well have played low on the second club. If he wants to beat the contract, he must put up his king on the first club and lead a diamond.
East must assume West has the ace of clubs and a diamond honor. But if that honor is the king, East may need to win the first club and lead a diamond through declarer before declarer sets up a club trick for a diamond discard.
DAILY QUESTION
You hold: S 4 H A Q J 8 4 D A 10 5 C Q J 7 4. You open one heart, your partner responds one spade, you bid two clubs and he raises to three clubs. What do you say?
ANSWER: This decision is close. Partner may have stretched to raise (in case you had substantial extra strength). He may have a sound hand such as A 8 6 5 2, 7 6, 8 7, A K 6 2. I would pass, but the ten of diamonds, which might contribute to a second diamond stopper, would tempt me to try 3NT.
South dealer
Both sides vulnerable
NORTH
S K 6 3 2
H K 10 9 5 3
D Q J
C 8 3
WEST
S Q J 10 5
H 6 2
D K 9 3 2
C A 10 2
EAST
S A 9 8 7
H 7
D 8 7 6 4
C K 9 6 5
SOUTH
S 4
H A Q J 8 4
D A 10 5
C Q J 7 4
South West North East
1 H Pass 3 H Pass
4 H All Pass
Opening lead — S Q
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