Chicago Sun-Times - - WEATHER - BY FRANK STE­WART

“Mil­lard read your col­umn yes­ter­day,” Rose told me in the club lounge, “about lead­ing the jack from J-9-4-2. I think he took it to heart.”

Mil­lard Pringle is a quiet lit­tle man who tends to lose his way in the maze of de­fen­sive rules.

“I was South,” Rose said, dis­play­ing to­day’s deal. “When East opened one di­a­mond, I just over­called one heart, but when North scraped up a bid, I went to game.”

“Fair enough.”

“Mil­lard was West,” Rose went on. “If he leads a low di­a­mond, I’m safe. But Mil­lard led the KING of di­a­monds.” Third spade: “East sig­naled with the three, and Mil­lard shifted obe­di­ently — to the jack of spades: king, ace. East con­tin­ued with the queen and a third spade, and Mil­lard was sure to score his ten of trumps. Down one.”

I’m not sure what Mil­lard was think­ing when he led the king of di­a­monds — maybe he thought the rule is to lead fourth-low­est — but his lead was astute. He could hope to win the first trick and then make an ef­fec­tive shift through dummy. Daily ques­tion

You hold :♠ K 10652♥ J 4 ♦ 652 ♣ A 9 3. Your part­ner opens one heart, you re­spond one spade, he bids two clubs and you re­turn to two hearts. Part­ner then bids two spades. What do you say?

An­swer: With a min­i­mum such as A J 3, AK 765,4, J 765, your part­ner would have used his sec­ond bid to sup­port your spades. His ac­tual se­quence sug­gests ex­tra strength and main­tains game in­ter­est even though your two-heart pref­er­ence showed weak­ness. You should bid four spades.

East dealer

Both sides vul­ner­a­ble

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