LIFE & CUL­TURE

A reader sent me to­day’s deal from a du­pli­cate event. She had found it frus­trat­ing. “We went down at 6NT. Af­ter West led a safe jack of di­a­monds, my part­ner

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

tried a spade fi­nesse with the queen. It lost, and she had only 11 tricks. We could make six di­a­monds on our 4-4 fit — a club ruff would pro­vide the 12th trick — but we have no idea how to get there.”

I can’t blame my fan and her part­ner for try­ing 6NT with their 33 points. In a du­pli­cate game, most pairs would be there. Over North’s “quan­ti­ta­tive” bid of 4NT, South might ac­cept the try for slam by bid­ding five di­a­monds to show a four­card or five-card suit. Then North could bid six di­a­monds.

In fact, 6NT was mak­able. South takes the queen, king and ace of di­a­monds and three heart tricks and next lets the nine of spades ride. (To cover with the ten won’t help East.)

When West takes the jack, he will have only black cards and will have to re­turn a spade to South’s A-Q or lead a club from his queen.

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: 982 A KJ6 ( AK86 $ J 3. The dealer, at your right, opens one club. You dou­ble, and your part­ner jumps to two spades. What do you say?

An­swer: This prob­lem is hard. Since part­ner’s re­sponse prom­ises about 10 points, you may have a game. But he may have only a four-card spade suit, so you should be re­luc­tant to raise. Ex­perts would be di­vided among sev­eral ac­tions. Many would choose a mark-time cue bid of three clubs. by Dana Sum­mers

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