Chicago Sun-Times



Cy the Cynic de­nies that he’s lazy. He main­tains that he just op­er­ates in power-saving mode.

“I don’t care what he says,” Rose told me in the club lounge. “He never thinks about his play as de­clarer. He just seizes on the first play that oc­curs to him.”

In a penny game, Cy was de­clarer at to­day’s four spades. He ruffed the sec­ond heart, drew trumps and led a di­a­mond. West sig­naled with the nine, and East cor­rectly let dummy’s king win. The Cynic then ruffed a heart and led a sec­ond di­a­mond: three, queen, ace. East cashed his jack and led a fourth heart, and Cy had to lose a club to West. Down one.

“I was North,” Rose sighed. “Cy’s ‘power saving’ cost him — and me — a chunk of money.”

Cy’s play might have pro­duced an over­trick on a lucky day, but af­ter Cy draws trumps, he should lead the ace and a sec­ond club. When West has the king, dummy’s queen pro­vides the 10th trick. If East had the king of clubs, Cy would still be safe if he won two di­a­mond tricks.

Daily ques­tion

You hold: ♠ 842 ♥ KQ85 ♦ 93 ♣ K 10 7 6. Your part­ner opens one di­a­mond, the next player over­calls one spade and you dou­ble (neg­a­tive). Part­ner then bids two hearts. The op­po­nents pass. What do you say?

An­swer: Your neg­a­tive dou­ble showed enough strength to re­spond with heart length plus di­a­mond sup­port or club length. Part­ner’s two hearts is not a strength-show­ing “re­verse” here. He has sim­ply “raised” the suit your dou­ble sug­gested. Pass.

North dealer

E-W vul­ner­a­ble

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