DAILY BRIDGE CLUB

Chicago Sun-Times - - WEATHER - BY FRANK STE­WART

When you be­come de­clarer at a suit con­tract — espe­cially at the level of game or slam where you won’t (I hope) have many losers — be­gin your plan­ning by count­ing your losers. If you have too many, look for a way to avoid one.

In to­day’s deal, North-South have a rou­tine Stay­man auc­tion to four spades, and West leads the jack of hearts. South counts four losers, one in each suit. He can’t help los­ing a di­a­mond and the black-suit aces, but he can hope to dis­card a heart from dummy by set­ting up a sec­ond club win­ner.

South can’t af­ford to start the trumps at the sec­ond trick. East will take his ace and re­turn a heart, set­ting up a heart trick for the de­fense be­fore de­clarer has ar­ranged his dis­card.

At Trick Two, South leads a club to dummy’s queen, win­ning, and then re­turns a club to his 10 and West’s ace. South wins the next heart and dis­cards dummy’s last heart on the king of clubs. Then, hav­ing re­duced his losers to three, he can start the trumps safely.

Daily ques­tion

You hold: ♠ 732 ♥ J1092 ♦ Q10 ♣ A 7 6 2. The dealer, at your left, opens one club. Your part­ner dou­bles, you bid one heart and he raises to two hearts. What do you say?

An­swer: Part­ner’s raise prom­ises about 17 points. He couldn’t raise you with fewer points since your re­sponse promised no strength at all. If your ace of clubs were the “wasted” king, you would pass, but the ace is a work­ing card. If you trust part­ner, bid three hearts. South dealer

N-S vul­ner­a­ble

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