When I watched today’s deal at the club, South was a player inclined to criticize — not as bad as the dreaded Grapefruit but close.
Against four hearts, West led the queen of clubs, and South viewed dummy with obvious distaste.
He took the ace and cashed the K- A of trumps, picking up East’s queen. South then led a diamond to dummy’s queen.
East took the king and cashed the king of clubs. Declarer ruffed the next club and led a diamond to the jack, but East got the ace and 10.
The result was down one, and South gave North the rough edge of his tongue.
“Partner, your three- heart raise was idiotic. Two hearts is all you were worth.”
After South draws the trumps, he takes three spades to pitch a club from dummy and exits with a club. West can win and lead a diamond to the queen and king, but then East is endplayed.
Question: You hold: ♠ A Q8♥ AJ 7 3 2 ♦8 7 2 ♣ A 3. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he bids two clubs. What do you say?
Answer: It would be easy to bid 3NT — you have opening values, balanced pattern and two spade tricks — but the hand has slam potential. Partner would pass 3NT with a hand such as K5 3,4, A K 10 6 3, KQ 6 5 when six diamonds would be a reasonable undertaking. Bid two spades, the “fourth suit,” and see how partner continues.