Will this deal be tax­ing to you?

Cecil Whig - - & & - By Phillip Alder

Tom Lehrer said, “On my in­come tax 1040 it says ‘Check this box if you are blind.’ I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away.” This is the tra­di­tional day by which Amer­i­cans must have sub­mit­ted their in­come tax re­turns; although, for some rea­son, we are all be­ing given an ex­tra three days to pay the money this year. We are look­ing at opener’s re­bids af­ter he has bid one of a ma­jor and heard re­spon­der use the Ja­coby Two No-trump to show at least four-card sup­port and game-go­ing val­ues. If opener does not have a strong side five-card suit to show, but has a sin­gle­ton or void, he bids that suit at the three-level -- as in to­day’s deal. Af­ter North con­trol-bids three hearts, South uses Black­wood, and signs off in six spades with one ace miss­ing. (If you em­ploy Ro­man Key Card Black­wood, North should an­swer five spades, show­ing two key cards and the spade queen, claim­ing that he has the trump queen be­cause he knows of at least a 10-card fit.)

How should South play in six spades af­ter West leads the diamond queen? It looks as though de­clarer must guess who holds the heart queen -- but that isn’t true. South wins trick one with his diamond ace (the honor from the shorter side first), plays a club to dummy’s ace, ruffs the last club in his hand, leads a diamond to the king, and ruffs the re­main­ing diamond. Then he casts adrift with a trump. What can East do? Noth­ing. If he shifts to a heart, it lo­cates the queen; or, if he leads a mi­nor, it con­cedes a ruff-and-sluff.

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