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

“You can’t blame her glasses this time,” I told Cy the Cynic. “The king and jack were in dummy.”

Min­nie Bot­toms, my club’s se­nior mem­ber, wears old bi­fo­cals that make her mix up kings and jacks, of­ten to her op­po­nents’ dis­may. Cy has been Min­nie’s chief vic­tim. In a team match, both Cy and Min­nie were de­clarer at 3NT. West led a spade.

“I played the jack from dummy,” the Cynic said. “East took the queen and re­turned a spade, and West won and led a third spade. I fi­nessed in di­a­monds, and when West took the king, he ran the spades.”

When Min­nie was de­clarer, she called for the king of spades at Trick One. She next asked for the king of di­a­monds!

“I don’t have it,” North sighed. Thus ap­prised, Min­nie let the jack ride. West won, but with the spades blocked, Min­nie took nine tricks.

Cy’s play was wrong. Min­nie’s was cor­rect. De­clarer’s play mat­ters only when East has Q-x of spades. Then de­clarer blocks the suit by putting up the king on the first spade. Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ 106 3 ♥ A85 ♦ AQ62 ♣A K 4. Nei­ther side vul­ner­a­ble. The dealer, at your right, opens one spade. What do you say?

An­swer: To pass with a hand this strong might re­sult in a missed game or partscore. Dou­ble. At least you have no wasted spade hon­ors.

With1063,985,AQ62,A K4orQ103,A86,A962,A5 4, I would cer­tainly pass.

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