Un­lucky Louie and I had agreed to go Christmas shop­ping to­gether. He wanted to get an early start. “Christmas,” Louie sighed, “when you get to fight

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

the rush-hour traf­fic in the mall park­ing lot.”

Rush­ing is of­ten Louie’s downfall as de­clarer. Against today’s four spades, West took the K-A of clubs and led the jack, and Louie hastily ruffed with his four of trumps and cashed the A-K. When West showed out, Louie tried dummy’s top hearts. He pitched one di­a­mond, but when East had J-10-9-5, Louie had to lose a di­a­mond plus a trump. Down one.

Louie must play care­fully, ruff­ing the third club with the nine of trumps. He takes the ace, leads a heart to dummy and re­turns a trump. When East plays the ten, Louie fi­nesses with his jack.

Louie is safe when the jack wins, but if West had the queen, Louie could win a heart re­turn, take dummy’s last high heart and ruff a heart high. He could go to the seven of trumps to dis­card his last low di­a­mond on the good fifth heart.

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & AKJ984 h 42 ( A83 $ Q 5. Your part­ner opens one club, you re­spond one spade and he raises to two spades. What do you say?

An­swer: Slam is pos­si­ble. If your part­ner has an ideal min­i­mum hand such as Q 1053,A3,76,AKJ64,youwould­bea fa­vorite to make 7NT. Probe with a bid of three di­a­monds. If part­ner jumps to four spades, you can rea­son­ably bid five spades, ask­ing him to go on if he has a con­trol in hearts, the only un­bid suit. by Dana Sum­mers

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