“My wife asked what I wanted for Christ­mas,” a club player grum­bled to me. “I said I wanted her to let me win an ar­gu­ment. When we have a de­fen­sive mix-up,

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Frank Ste­wart

she al­ways finds a way to blame me.”

My friend was to­day’s East, and his wife led a heart against four spades.

“I took the ace,” East said, “and sus­pected that South had no more hearts. At the sec­ond trick, I led the ace of di­a­monds, hop­ing my wife had the king. She played the deuce, so I next led a club. De­clarer lost only one more trick to the ace of trumps, mak­ing four.”

“My wife asked why I hadn’t con­tin­ued di­a­monds. I said her deuce was a discouraging sig­nal, but she wouldn’t lis­ten. She said I’d had a plan and should have stuck with it.”

My friend wins an ar­gu­ment, for once. His wife led him astray. Since she doesn’t want a club shift — and has the ace of trumps as a sure en­try to give East a ruff — she must sig­nal with a high di­a­mond at Trick Two. East can get a di­a­mond ruff for the set­ting trick.

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & 652 h A Q10942 ( A7 $ 9 6. Both sides vul­ner­a­ble. East in to­day’s deal opened two hearts (weak) with this hand. Do you agree with his ac­tion?

An­swer: Most ex­perts would deem the hand too strong for a weak two-bid. Two “Quick Tricks” are con­sid­ered a max­i­mum for a weak two, and this hand has two and a half, plus good heart spots. I would ac­cept two hearts in first or sec­ond seat, vul­ner­a­ble. I would also ac­cept one heart.

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