World-class Errors
In my opinion, the standard of play among all players has declined. Players focus on bidding and neglect dummy play and defense.
Today’s deal from the 2017 World Championships was played 12 times, in the semifinals of three major events. At 10 tables, North-South got to a routine 3NT.

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

Opening lead — 3
West led a low diamond. When dummy played low, East took the king and shifted to the queen of hearts, and the defense raced off six heart tricks. In the Bermuda Bowl, the deal was tied: plus 300 to East-West at both tables.


In such elite company, it seems someone would have known about safety plays. Declarer doesn’t want East to get in for a possibly fatal heart shift, so he should put up the ace on the first diamond. If West has the king, he will have it later. The actual fall of the king makes things easy.
If instead East played low, South could continue with a spade to his jack. He would have many chances to succeed.
In the World Championships, one (!) declarer made 3NT.

Daily Question

You hold: ♠Q 9 7   9 5 A 7 5    ♣K Q J 4 3.
Your partner opens 1, you respond 2♣, he rebids 2 and you try 2NT. Partner then bids 3. What do you say?

Your partner suggests six hearts, four diamonds and minimum opening values. Your 2NT was a bit conservative, but to change your mind and act aggressively now would be undisciplined. Bid 3. If partner holds     ♠6 5        A K 10 7 6 4   K Q 6 3    ♣3, your black-suit honors will be wasted.

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