The laws of bridge prohibit bids of more than seven (though I once had an opponent who, when I bid five clubs, jocularly bid “ten clubs” in lieu of doubling me). Today’s South landed at a good six spades but handled the play as if he were higher, much higher.

Dealer North; Both Vulnerable

8 6 3
A K J 3
A K J 9 5
Q 7 4 2
7 5 4
Q J 10 4 3
Q 9 8 2
8 7 4 3 2
K 9 8  
A K J 10 9 
10 6   
Q 10
A 7 6 2
West North East South
1 Pass 1
Pass 2 Pass 3
Pass 3 Pass 6
Pass Pass Pass 

Opening Lead: Q

Frank Stewart
Frank Stewart

South took the A, ruffed a club in dummy and led a trump to his jack. West ducked smoothly. South then ruffed another club in dummy, returned to his Q and cashed the ace of trumps, East discarded, South took the king of trumps and led a second diamond. He would have been safe if West had held another diamond, but West ruffed and cashed a club.


South played as if the bid were nine spades. To safeguard his contract, he leads a heart to dummy at Trick Two and returns a trump to his jack. If West ducks, South leads the ten of trumps or goes to the A and leads a trump to his ten. He can win any return and is sure of 12 tricks: four trumps, two hearts, five diamonds and one club.

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