Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - By Frank Ste­wart

When Un­lucky Louie plays in penny games, his money dis­ap­pears so fast that a sonic boom should em­anate from the ta­ble. Louie was to­day’s South, and when East pre­empted, he leaped to five clubs, rea­son­ably enough. (His bid was strong; there are no pre­empts over pre­empts.)

West led the 10 of spades, and East over­took with the jack. Louie took the ace and, at the speed of sound, led the king of trumps. West won and led his last spade, and when East won and led a third spade, Louie was stuck: West was sure to score his 10 of trumps.

“Duck the first spade,” North ad­vised.

“The man would usu­ally have a seven-card suit,” Louie snorted.

Louie had to win the first spade, but he should have taken more time over his next play. To guard against the ac­tual lie of the cards, Louie cashes the ace of hearts, leads a di­a­mond to dummy and re­turns the queen of hearts, pitch­ing his last spade. The loser-on-loser play stops the de­fend­ers’ trump pro­mo­tion.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ 76 3 ♥Q 9 6 5 2 ♦A Q ♣ 6 5 3. Your part­ner opens one di­a­mond, you re­spond one heart, he bids one spade. Now what?

An­swer: To pass might be a win­ning ac­tion; a con­tract of one spade might pro­vide your only plus score. Nev­er­the­less, your part­ner could have as many as 18 points, and you have use­ful hon­ors in his first suit. Bid 1NT. You have no stop­per in clubs, but you do have bal­anced pat­tern. Give part­ner an­other chance.

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