I was observing Cy the Cynic play at today’s three hearts at the club lounge. He ruffed West’s third high spade and pondered. Finally, he took the K-A of clubs and led a club to his queen. West ruffed and led the ace and a second trump, and the Cynic’s last club was a loser. Down one.
“I should have forced out the ace of trumps, hoping for a 3-3 break so I could draw trumps,” Cy said. “The cost of leaving the trumps out was too high.”
Cy couldn’t succeed by trying to draw trumps. West would win the second trump and lead a fourth spade, and Cy would lose control. Instead, Cy takes the A-K of diamonds and leads the K-A and a third club ... but he plays LOW from his hand.
East is helpless. If he leads a trump, and West wins and leads another trump, Cy can draw trumps and score his queen of clubs. If East returns a diamond, Cy can ruff and ruff his queen of clubs in dummy.
Question: You hold: ♠ A KQJ8 ♥ A532 ♦ 85 ♣ 6 4. Your partner opens one heart. The next player passes. What do you say?
Answer: You need only the right minimum opening bid from partner to have a slam: He might hold 9 3,K Q 96 4, A 4 2, A 3 2. Jump to two spades and support the hearts next. If you have a slam, partner will see that you get there. The 19-point standard for a jump-shift is a myth. Jump when you can visualize slam and know what suit will be trumps. South dealer Both sides vulnerable