Cy the Cynic’s philosophy is, “Do unto others before they undo you.” Cy also says there’s no rest for the wary: Managing entries as declarer, my topic this week, requires foresight and focus.
In today’s deal, West led a heart against South’s slam, and South took the ace and cashed the king and ace of trumps. He would have been safe with a 3-2 break, but East showed out.
South then started the diamonds. He threw his last heart on the fourth diamond as West had to follow suit, but when West ruffed the fifth diamond and led a heart, South was undone. He ruffed but was stuck in his hand and lost a club to the king.
South could overcome the bad trump break if he were wary. He should start the trumps with the king and queen.
South then takes four diamonds to pitch his last heart, ruffs dummy’s last heart and goes to the ace of trumps to pitch a club on the fifth diamond. If West doesn’t ruff, declarer can throw him in with a trump to lead into the A-Q of clubs.
DAILY QUESTION: You hold: K Q 7 4 43 AK4
A Q J 2. You open one club, and your partner raises to two clubs. You try two spades, and he bids three clubs. What do you say?
ANSWER: Partner seems to have a minimum raise. Though you have 19 points, game in clubs is far away, and a heart opening lead may damage 3NT. Try once more by bidding three diamonds if you wish, but if partner has 8 6, K 8 6, 10 5 3, K 10 8 6 4, three clubs may be the last makable contract.