BRIDGE

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - By Frank Ste­wart

A ca­pa­ble de­clarer should be an op­ti­mist or a pes­simist, depend­ing on what’s re­quired.

In to­day’s deal, South bid him­self to four spades; he needed al­most noth­ing in dummy to have a chance. When West led a heart, South ruffed, led a di­a­mond to dummy and re­turned a trump: 10, king, ace. South ruffed the next heart and led a sec­ond trump, but West dis­carded. East got two trump tricks and also a club. Down one.

“East opened,” South shrugged. “He rated to have the ace of trumps.”

South was an op­ti­mist when he should have been oth­er­wise. He can af­ford two trump losers but not three,

hence he should lead a low trump from his hand at Trick Two. He is safe when West’s ace ap­pears, but if in­stead a de­fender won with, say, the jack, South would ruff the heart re­turn, lead a di­a­mond to dummy and re­turn a trump, suc­ceed­ing when­ever the lie of the cards al­lowed.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ Q J 10 ♥A K Q 10 5 ♦ 10 7 ♣Q J 7. Your part­ner opens one club, you re­spond one heart and he re­bids two clubs. The op­po­nents pass. What do you say?

An­swer: You have a game, but which game is un­cer­tain. You may well be­long at 3NT, but if part­ner holds A3 2, 6, 6 4 2, A K 10 6 4 2, you need to play at five clubs. If he has K3 2, J 6, J 2, A K 10 6 4 2, you need to reach four hearts. Bid two spades to let part­ner make a fur­ther de­scrip­tive bid.

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