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`I admire my partner's optimism,' a fan's e-mail reads. `He'd buy a burial suit with two pairs of pants. But he often lands in trouble.

Byline: Frank Stewart

`I admire my partner's optimism,' a fan's e-mail reads. `He'd buy a burial suit with two pairs of pants. But he often lands in trouble.'

My fan's partner was today's declarer, and East signaled high on the first club to discourage West from shifting to a heart. West then led the ace of clubs. (A low club would have been better.)

`My partner, ever the optimist, ruffed in dummy and started the diamonds. East won the second diamond and led a heart. My partner took the ace and cashed the K-A of trumps, hoping to draw trumps, but West discarded. When dummy led a high diamond next, East ruffed, and South lost two hearts.'

Optimism is a fine thing, but South makes the contract by preserving an entry to dummy. On the second club, he discards a heart from dummy.

If West shifts to a trump, South takes the king and queen and forces out the ace of diamonds. He wins East's heart shift, draws trumps with the ace and runs the diamonds.

This week: entry management.

Daily question: You hold S 3; H K 10 4; D 9 8 6 2; C A K 9 7 2. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond two clubs, he bids 2NT and you try three diamonds. Partner then bids three hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Your partner is probing for the best game contract. He has strength in hearts but maybe weakness in spades. Your holdings in the major suits warn against notrump. Bid five diamonds. Your partner may hold Q 7 6, A Q 7, A Q 7 5 3, 6 5.

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Title Annotation:Wire Column
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 21, 2007
Words:284
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