Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - By Frank Ste­wart

Another let­ter ar­rived from the So­ci­ety of Fi­nessers, complaining that fi­nesses never win in my col­umns.

The So­ci­ety won’t like to­day’s deal. At 3NT, South took the king of spades and led a club to dummy’s queen. East won and re­turned a spade.

De­clarer then led a club to dummy’s ace and let the jack of di­a­monds ride. The jack held — fi­nesses some­times work even in my world — and South took five di­a­mond tricks. But he had only eight tricks in all, and when he led a heart next, West took the rest.

It’s prob­a­bly not easy to see at first glance, but South’s club fi­nesse was in­cor­rect. Even if it won, he would still need to run the di­a­monds to make 3NT.

If South leads a club at Trick Two (a heart would be bet­ter), he should play the ace and fi­nesse in di­a­monds. Af­ter he runs the di­a­monds, he leads a heart to set up his ninth trick while he still has the ace of spades.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ A K♥ Q 10 7 ♦ AQ962 ♣ 964. The dealer, at your right, opens one club. You over­call one di­a­mond, and your part­ner bids one heart. The op­po­nents pass. What do you say? An­swer: Many ex­perts would treat part­ner’s one heart as nei­ther forc­ing nor en­cour­ag­ing. In the style I ad­vo­cate, where a sim­ple over­call sug­gests open­ing val­ues or more, a new-suit “ad­vance” by part­ner is forc­ing. But in ei­ther style, I would surely raise to two hearts.

2017, Tribune Me­dia Ser­vices

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