In an effort to lose weight, Cy the Cynic has been taking medication: “girth-control pills,” he calls them. “I decided last week that I’m going to lose 30 pounds,” Cy told me. “So how are you doing?” “I’ve got only 40 to go,” said the Cynic. As declarer at today’s four hearts, Cy won the second club — and had only nine more winners to go. When he cashed the ace of trumps next, West threw a club. Cy muttered an oath, then ruffed his losing club in dummy, cashed the A-K of spades and led a third spade. He ruffed his fourth spade in dummy but lost two trumps to East to go down one. Cy fell short of his goal. Could you do better? You hold: A K 4 6 5 4 3 A J 5 2
9 4. You open one diamond, and your partner responds one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?
You have only 12 highcard points, but your opening bid was quite proper: You have good defensive values and a jack that is supported by the ace. A bid of 1NT now would not be an error, but I strongly prefer a raise to two spades. Auctions are usually easier when a trump suit is set promptly.