Los Angeles Times - - POP & HISS - By Frank Stewart

“You of­ten write about avoid­ing hasty play,” a reader writes. “My part­ner has to be the world’s worst.”

My fan of­fered to­day’s deal. His part­ner, the speed de­mon, was de­clarer at four hearts, and West led the king of spades, which looked like just what de­clarer needed.

“My part­ner took the ace and cashed the K- Q of trumps,” my fan says. “When East dis­carded, part­ner played the rest of the deal as slowly as a nud­ist try­ing to get through a barbed- wire fence, but no mat­ter what he did, he had to lose four tricks. If, for in­stance, he led a spade to his 10 at Trick Four, West would ruff, and the de­fense would also get a diamond, a club and a spade.”

I sus­pect many play­ers would have suc­cumbed to the temp­ta­tion of the open­ing lead. To make four hearts, South must let the king of spades win.

If West shifts to a trump, South can draw trumps, go to the ace of spades and f inesse with his 10. He wins five trumps, three spades and the two mi­nor- suit aces.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ Q 10 6 5 ♥ A 10 6 4 2 ♦A 5 ♣ A 9. The dealer, at your right, opens one club. What do you say?

An­swer: Many ex­perts would dou­ble, risk­ing a diamond re­sponse ( the hand isn’t strong enough to dou­ble and then bid the hearts) and hop­ing to lo­cate a f it in ei­ther ma­jor. I pre­fer to get the five- card suit men­tioned quickly. I would over­call one heart, hop­ing part­ner will bid spades if he has length there. West dealer N- S vul­ner­a­ble

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