Back to Birmingham
Every month or so, I go to Birmingham, Alabama, for dinner and a bridge game with old friends and former teammates. We always have interesting deals.
Cover today’s West/South cards and defend as East. Over your 1NT bid, South’s “Unusual” 2NT showed a huge hand, almost surely a two-suiter. Against 4, West leads a club, you win, and South plays the jack.
What do you lead at Trick Two?

Dlr: East ♠ 7 2
Vul: None Q 7 2
Q 8 7 6 5 3
♣ Q 5
♠ J 8 6 5 3 ♠ K Q 10 4
J 8 9 5 4
A 2
♣ 10 8 7 6 3 2 ♣ A K 9 4
♠ A 9
A K 10 6 3
K J 10 9 4
♣ J
East South West North
1NT 2NT Pass 3
Pass 3 Pass 4
All Pass

Opening lead — ♣6

Spade Return

East worked out that South had hearts and diamonds, so East led the A 2. West ruffed, but South ruffed the club return, drew trumps and ran the diamonds to pitch his spade loser, making four. (East-West could make four spades!)
East must lead the 2 without taking the ace. If West ruffs and leads a spade, East can cash a spade when he takes the A. Moreover, East could win the first club with the ace, ostensibly denying that he had the king, to help West find the winning spade shift. That would have been a defense to remember.

Daily Question

You hold:
♠A 9
A K 10 6 3
K J 10 9 4
You open 1, your partner responds 1♠, you bid 2and he tries 2NT. What do you say?

You have plenty of strength to accept your partner’s invitation to game. You mustn’t bid 3, which would show a minimum hand and would attempt to sign off at three of a red suit. Jump to 4 or take a chance and raise to 3NT and try for the nine-trick game.

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