“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.