Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - By Frank Ste­wart

Un­lucky Louie had taken his fam­ily on a camp­ing trip.

“It was great,” Louie told us. “We got up at dawn to see the sun­rise.”

“I’d say you couldn’t have picked a bet­ter time,” Cy the Cynic ob­served.

Louie’s tim­ing was less per­fect when he was de­clarer at to­day’s 3NT. Louie won the first heart with the king and let the jack of di­a­monds ride. East won and re­turned a heart to the ace. Louie then ran the di­a­monds and tried a club fi­nesse. West won, and Louie went down two.

It never dawned on Louie that he could make 3NT with bet­ter tim­ing. At Trick Two he should lead a spade. If West takes the ace, Louie has three spades and nine tricks in all. If West plays low, dummy wins, and Louie fi­nesses in clubs to as­sure nine tricks.

If East had the ace of spades and won the first spade to re­turn a heart, Louie would test the spades. If they broke 3-3, he would be home. If not, he could con­tinue with the A-K of clubs and then if nec­es­sary a di­a­mond fi­nesse.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ J 7 54 ♥ AK ♦J 9 ♣ A K J 9 2. With nei­ther side vul­ner­a­ble, the dealer, at your right, opens three hearts. What do you say?

An­swer: Pre­empts can give you headaches, and this one is ma­jor. If you dou­ble, you may find a spade fit but risk an un­wel­come re­sponse of four di­a­monds from part­ner. My in­cli­na­tion would be to bid 3NT, hop­ing part­ner has his fair share of the miss­ing high cards. I would be ready to apol­o­gize.

Tri­bune Con­tent Agency

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