DAILY BRIDGE CLUB
I was relaxing in the club lounge when someone asked which game was older, bridge or Monopoly.
“Contract bridge was devised in 1925,” Rose offered. “Monopoly was first marketed in 1935, but the game was invented many years before that.”
“Monopoly has to be an old game,” Cy the Cynic observed. “There’s a luxury tax, and rich people actually go to jail.”
Some of the “rules” of bridge have been around since the days of its predecessors, such as whist; for instance, “second hand low.” But rules are always suspect.
In today’s deal, West leads a spade against 3NT, and South plays dummy’s queen, winning. When dummy leads a diamond next, East must put up his king: “second hand high.” This play has nothing to lose. If South has the A-Q, East’s king is trapped anyway.
But East must strive to win an early trick to return a spade, hoping to set up West’s suit while West still has an entry. In this deal, South can make 3NT if East plays low on the first diamond.
You hold: ♠ KJ963 ♥ 843 ♦ A93 ♣ 9 6. Your partner opens 1NT, showing 16 to 18 points. The next player passes. What do you say?
Answer: To bid two clubs, Stayman, is possible, but most players would issue a “transfer” response. They would bid two hearts, obliging opener to bid two spades. Then they would bid 2NT, offering him the options of passing or bidding three spades, four spades or 3NT, depending on his strength and spade support.
Both sides vulnerable