One thing I have learned in the last 40 years: Of the many players who think they can tell their partners how to play bridge, almost none are good enough to do it.

In today's deal, East took the king of clubs and returned a club to West's ace. West couldn't gain by setting up his long clubs (he had no entry to cash them), so he shifted to a spade. South won with the ten and kept his communications fluid by leading a diamond to dummy's ten. East took the queen and returned a spade, but South took the A-Q, cashed the queen of clubs, and ran the diamonds for nine tricks.

As you might imagine, West castigated his partner in the postmortem.

"Why return a club at the second trick?" West asked. "If my clubs are ready to run, we can run them later. Otherwise, we beat the contract if you can induce me to shift to a heart when I take my ace of clubs. Lead the nine of spades, denying spade strength, so I'll know we have no future in spades. Your club return left me to guess which major suit to shift to."

East misdefended, but West's comments were imperfect. The bidding marks South with at most three hearts. If West was going to be critical, he could have said that East should have led a low heart at Trick Two. When East takes the queen of diamonds, he leads a club to West, and a heart return beats 3NT two tricks. (If South has Q J 3, 6 5 4, J 7 3, A 7 6 5, East still defeats the contract.)

I agree with Cy the Cynic, who says that if you want people to remember you for your faults, start handing out advice.