DAILY BRIDGE CLUB
Another of those changeable signs in front of a church in my town: “Adam and Eve were the first people who didn’t take time to read an Apple user agreement.”
East found a most devilish defense in today’s deal. Against four hearts, West led the four of diamonds, and East took the ace. He could have shifted to the queen of clubs to win two more tricks, but then declarer would pick up the king of trumps and queen of spades — his percentage play in both suits was to finesse — and take the rest.
So South’s game looked unbeatable — until at the second trick, East led ... the deuce of spades!
South won in dummy, but the terms and conditions were obvious: From his point of view, the deuce had to be a singleton. If South lost a trump finesse to West, East might ruff a spade return.
So South cashed the ace of trumps. He next led high spades. To his amazement, East ruffed the third spade and led the queen of clubs, and the defense got two clubs for down one.
You hold: ♠ 643 ♥ AQ9742 ♦ Q9 ♣ K 5. Your partner opens one club, you respond one heart and he bids one spade. What do you say?
Answer: I consider this a close case. The textbook action with 11 high-card points and a decent sixcard heart suit is a jump to three hearts, inviting game, and I would choose that call if vulnerable. Since the hearts are ragged and the value of the queen of diamonds is uncertain, a timid rebid of two hearts might work best.