Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - By Frank Ste­wart

This week we’ve ex­am­ined the ver­sa­tile loser-on­loser play. It can help de­clarer set up a suit, avoid a danger­ous op­po­nent or ex­e­cute an end play. To test your­self, cover the East-West cards. Against your four hearts, West leads the king of spades and shifts to the jack of clubs.

How do you play to win 10 tricks?

You have a spade, a club and maybe two di­a­monds to lose, but you can end-play West with a loser on a loser. Play a low club from both hands at Trick Two, let­ting West’s jack win, and take the next club with the ace.

You cash the A-K of trumps, ruff a spade, go to the king of clubs, and re­turn the queen of spades, pitch­ing a di­a­mond. When West wins, he must lead a di­a­mond, giv­ing you a free fi­nesse, or lead a spade, con­ced­ing a ruff-sluff.

Though de­clarer could still make four hearts at dou­ble dummy if he won the sec­ond trick, he might fail. Duck­ing in­stead is safer. South makes sure that East can’t win a club trick and shift to a dam­ag­ing di­a­mond.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ A K84 ♥ 84 ♦ K875 ♣ J 10 6. Your part­ner opens one heart, you bid one spade, he re­bids two hearts and you try 2NT. Part­ner then bids three clubs. Now what?

An­swer: Part­ner sug­gests six hearts, four clubs and min­i­mum val­ues. Since you have prime val­ues, heart tol­er­ance and a use­ful club hold­ing, bid four hearts. Part­ner may hold 7 6, K Q10 7 6 3, 2, A Q 9 4.

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