Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - By Frank Ste­wart

When I watched to­day’s deal in my club’s penny game, South was the much­feared Joe Over­berry. He thinks it’s no­bler to go down in pur­suit of an over­trick than to make what he bid.

Against four hearts, West led the king and ace of di­a­monds, drop­ping East’s queen. On the next di­a­mond, Joe ruffed with dummy’s 10 of hearts.

East over­ruffed with the queen and shifted to a club. Joe won with the king, drew trumps and cashed his ace of clubs. When no queen ap­peared, Joe tried a spade fi­nesse with dummy’s jack, but East pro­duced the queen for down one.

“There goes an­other vul­ner­a­ble game down the drain,” North moaned.

“If West has both ma­jor­suit queens,” Joe said in­dig­nantly, “I make an over­trick.”

To take the 10 tricks he con­tracted for, Joe dis­cards a spade from dummy on the third di­a­mond in­stead of ruff­ing. He can win any shift, draw trumps, take the A-K of spades and ruff his last spade in dummy.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ 87 6 ♥ 8 ♦ AK10743 ♣ Q 10 6. You open two di­a­monds (weak), and your part­ner bids 2NT. The op­po­nents pass. What do you say?

An­swer: Part­ner’s 2NT is an ar­ti­fi­cial in­quiry. Part­ner­ships use var­i­ous meth­ods, but a com­mon one re­quires opener to show a side fea­ture. That is usu­ally de­fined as an ace or king, though some pairs would treat the Q-10-6 in clubs as a “fea­ture.” If you have no prior agree­ment, just bid three di­a­monds. South dealer N-S vul­ner­a­ble

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