An­other deal with two faces

Cecil Whig - - COMICS & PUZZLES - By Phillip Alder

Abra­ham Lin­coln said, “If I were two-faced, would I be wear­ing this one?” Last week, we had a deal with two faces; the re­sult rested on West’s de­ci­sion as dealer -- to open or not to open. Here is an­other, to­day for de­clarer and to­mor­row for a de­fender. South is in four hearts. West leads the spade king. East over­takes with the ace and re­turns the suit. West takes that trick, cashes the club ace, and plays an­other club. How should South con­tinue?

Af­ter West’s one-spade open­ing bid was passed around to South, he might have jumped to three hearts. In this bal­anc­ing po­si­tion, it would have been an in­ter­me­di­ate jump over­call (not weak), show­ing at least a six-card suit and some 15-17 points. But it would typ­i­cally have in­di­cated a stronger suit than this one.

North’s three-heart raise was no thing of beauty, with a 10-loser hand, but with four-card heart sup­port, it was hard to pass.

De­clarer has sur­ren­dered three tricks, so must play the trump suit with­out loss. When­ever an op­po­nent opens the bid­ding, de­clarer should al­ways count the high-card points. In this deal, South can con­cen­trate on ei­ther de­fender. First, East. He passed over one spade, deny­ing six points. But he has al­ready pro­duced the spade ace; he can­not have the heart king. Next, West. There are only 17 points miss­ing, and East has shown up with four. West must have the heart king. So, in­stead of tak­ing the fi­nesse (the right play in iso­la­tion), de­clarer cashes the heart ace and hopes that the king drops. It’s South’s lucky day.

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