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
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