Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - By Frank Stewart

Pres­ence of mind is es­sen­tial for suc­cess, but for some it can be ac­com­pa­nied by ab­sence of thought.

At to­day’s six hearts, South took the ace of spades and cashed the ace of trumps. When West showed out, de­clarer had enough pres­ence of mind to start the di­a­monds next, while dummy still had a trump en­try. He led the ace and a sec­ond diamond.

West could in­fer that East had the jack — South could have fi­nessed if he had it — so West played low smoothly. South ap­praised his op­po­nent and f inessed with dummy’s 10. East took the jack and shifted to a club, and South lost the f inesse and went down one.

West did well to duck the sec­ond diamond — if he took the king, dummy’s Q- 10 would give South two club dis­cards — but South’s play was thought­less. Even if dummy’s 10 forced out the king from East, South would get only one club dis­card and would still have to rely on the club fi­nesse.

South must put up the queen on the sec­ond diamond.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠K 8 63 ♥ 6 5 3 ♦ J 8 2 ♣ 10 8 7. Your part­ner opens one heart. The next player dou­bles. What do you say?

An­swer: Many ex­perts treat a raise to two hearts here as a mild ob­struc­tive move. Many ex­perts would choose that ac­tion. I would pass. I pre­fer to have one sure trick as well as heart sup­port to raise. With K 8 6 3 2, 10 6 5 3, 8, 10 8 7, ev­ery­one would jump to three hearts, pre­emp­tive. 2015, Tri­bune Con­tent Agency

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