Chicago Sun-Times - - WEATHER - BY FRANK STE­WART

Another let­ter ar­rived from the So­ci­ety of Fi­nessers — they are noth­ing if not per­sis­tent — com­plain­ing that fi­nesses never win in my col­umn deals.

“Sir: We must again protest your dis­dain for the fi­nesse, an hon­or­able tech­nique that wins fully half the time, ex­cept when you write about it.”

Gentle­men, let me give you some­thing else to com­plain about.

At four hearts, South takes the ace of spades, cashes the ace of trumps and fi­nesses with his jack, los­ing. South wins the next spade, comes to his ace of di­a­monds, draws trumps and leads a di­a­mond to dummy’s ten. East pro­duces the queen and cashes a spade and a club for down one.

“Two fi­nesses lose,” the So­ci­ety grum­bles.

Time: Af­ter South wins the first spade, he should take the A-K of trumps, gain­ing time. He con­tin­ues with the A-K of di­a­monds and leads the jack.

East wins and re­turns a spade to dummy, but South dis­cards his spade loser on the ten of di­a­monds. He makes his game with­out tak­ing a fi­nesse.

Daily ques­tion You hold: ♠ 542 ♥ KJ10952 ♦ A72 ♣ 10. You open two hearts (weak), and your part­ner re­sponds 2NT. The op­po­nents pass. What do you say?

An­swer: In every prac­ticed part­ner­ship, part­ner’s 2NT is an ar­ti­fi­cial in­quiry. Part­ner­ships use dif­fer­ent re­bid­ding schemes, some more com­pli­cated than oth­ers. A com­mon and sim­ple treat­ment is for opener to show a side-suit fea­ture — and ace or king — if he has one. If that is your agree­ment, bid three di­a­monds. North dealer

N-S vul­ner­a­ble

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