Out for the Count

Today’s deal reminds me of a man who was injured when a cascade of books fell on his head — and he had only his shelf to blame.

Dlr: East ♠ 9 3
Vul: N-S A 10 9 6
A 7 6 4
♣ K 5 4
♠ 10 8 4 2 ♠ A Q J 7 5
7 5 3
J 9 5 2 K Q 10 3
♣ Q 9 8 7 6 ♣ 3
♠ K 6
K Q J 8 4 2
♣ A J 10 2
East South West North
1♠ 2 2♠ 4
Pass 5♣ Pass 5
Pass 6 All Pass

Opening lead — ♠2
West led the ♠2 against 6, and East won and returned a spade to the king. Declarer drew all the trumps, shrugged and led a club to dummy’s king. On the next club, East showed out, and South lost a club to West. Down one.
Could South successfully find the ♣Q?

Last Trump

South wasn’t blameless. After he wins the second spade, he should endeavor to get a count. He takes the A, ruffs a diamond, and gets to dummy with trumps to ruff two more diamonds. South then draws the last trump.
At that point, South knows East-West had four diamonds each, and West had no trumps and presumably four spades for his lead of the deuce. Hence, West likely had five clubs. So South can lead a club to his ace to see which club East had. He can then let the jack ride confidently.
This week: counting practice.

Daily Question

You hold: ♠9 3 A 10 9 6 A 7 6 4  ♣K 5 4.
Your partner opens 1, you respond 1 and he bids 1♠. What do you say?

If in your partnership a jump-preference in opener’s minor invites game, a bid of 3, is ideal. If that bid would be forcing, you are in a bind. Underbid with 2, overbid with 3, or bid 2♣(the “fourth suit”) if that is your way to start an invitational sequence.

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