Un­lucky Louie told me he had last-minute shop­ping and gift-wrap­ping to ac­com­plish. “I al­ready told you what an inept gift-wrap­per I am,” Louie sighed.

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

“If you can’t wrap pack­ages well,” I ad­vised, “at least make it look like the presents put up a good fight.”

Louie put up a good fight as de­clarer at to­day’s grand slam. West led a di­a­mond, and Louie saw 12 tricks: six trumps, three spades, a di­a­mond and two clubs. He care­fully played a low di­a­mond from dummy, de­fer­ring a dis­card on the ace, and ruffed in his hand. He drew trumps and took the A-K of clubs. When West’s queen fell — Louie was en­ti­tled to some good luck on Christ­mas Eve — he claimed.

If the queen of clubs doesn’t fall, Louie dis­cards his jack on the ace of di­a­monds and ruffs a club. A 3-3 break would give him a 13th trick. He would also suc­ceed with a 3-3 spade break or a squeeze.

Louie, Cy the Cynic, my other club mem­bers and I wish for my read­ers a hol­i­day season of peace and joy.

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & J983 h 9 5 ( KQJ93 $ Q 2. Your part­ner opens one heart, you re­spond one spade, he bids two clubs and you re­turn to two hearts. Part­ner then bids two spades. What do you say?

An­swer: Part­ner has a good hand and re­mains in­ter­ested in game, though your two-heart pref­er­ence sug­gested at most nine points. Since you have a max­i­mum for your bid­ding with the un­bid suit well stopped (to say the least!), bid 3NT.

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