BRIDGE

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - By Frank Stewart

“What’s wrong with him now?” — Yogi Berra, upon be­ing told that his wife had taken their young son to see “Doc­tor Zhivago.”

To­day’s South was ask­ing what more could go wrong. At 3NT, he took the queen of hearts, led a club to his king and re­turned the jack. When West threw a spade, South let East’s queen win.

East in­ferred that if South feared a heart re­turn, he would have played the clubs dif­fer­ently. So East shifted to a di­a­mond: jack, king. When West ex­ited with a heart, South had only eight tricks. He let the queen of spades ride, but East won and led the 10 of di­a­monds, and South went down two.

“Ev­ery card was wrong,” South grum­bled.

South can take the ace of clubs at Trick Two, then lead to his jack. As it hap­pens, he makes an over­trick, but if West had the queen, he would have no win­ning re­turn. If West led a di­a­mond or spade, South could get his ninth trick in one of those suits. If West led a heart, South could fi­nesse in spades to get a sec­ond spade trick.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ 97 32 ♥ J1096 ♦ AK93 ♣ 6. The dealer, at your left, opens one club, and two passes fol­low. What do you say?

An­swer: To act is cor­rect. Your part­ner surely has some points; oth­er­wise, the op­po­nents would still be bid­ding. Dou­ble. You couldn’t con­sider dou­bling in the di­rect po­si­tion, but you can bal­ance with a dou­ble de­spite shaded val­ues. Your part­ner must not count on you for more.

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