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I received yet another letter from the Society of Finessers, complaining that finesses never win in my column.

“Sir: We must again condemn your disdain for the finesse, an honorable technique that wins fully half the time, except in your deals.”

The Society won’t appreciate today’s deal. At four hearts, South took dummy’s ace of spades and lost a trump finesse. He ruffed West’s spade return and drew trumps, leaving him with one.

LAST SPADE

South next let the queen of clubs ride, and East won and led his last spade, making South ruff with his last trump. When he led a club to dummy and finessed in diamonds, West took the king — and two spades.

“Three finesses out of three lose,” the Society growls. “For shame!”

After South ruffs the second spade, he should draw trumps in dummy and finesse in diamonds. West wins and leads a spade to force out South’s last trump, but then South finesses in clubs. East wins but, as expected, he has no more spades. South is safe.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S A 9 4 3 H J 10 7 D Q 10 8 C A 10 9. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade and he bids two diamonds. What do you say?

ANSWER: You have 11 high-card points — apparently enough strength to invite game — but some 11-point hands are better than others. This hand has working secondary honors, including tens, in partner’s long suits plus aces in the other suits. You should take an aggressive view. Bid four hearts.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

S A 9 4 3

H J 10 7

D Q 10 8

C A 10 9

WEST

S K Q J 10 8

H K 6 2

D K 7 5

C 5 2

EAST

S 6 5 2

H 4 3

D 6 3 2

C K 7 6 4 3

SOUTH

S 7

H A Q 9 8 5

D A J 9 4

C Q J 8

South West North East
1 H 1 S 2 NT Pass
3 D Pass 3 H Pass
4 H All Pass
Opening lead — S K

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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