LIFE &C ULTURE
“How are your stocks doing?” I asked Unlucky Louie. He is always beating his head against Wall Street. “My Caterpillar stock inched up a bit,” Louie replied.
“Would you buy a stock you knew would fall?”
“Well, would you try a finesse you knew would lose?”
“I doubt it,” Louie answered cautiously. I asked Louie to play today’s four spades. (How would you play after East takes the A-K of clubs and leads the jack?)
Given my questions, Louie found a winning line. After declarer ruffs the third club, he leads a trump to dummy’s jack, knowing the finesse will lose. (East’s 1NT marks him with all the missing honors.)
East wins and returns a trump, and South wins with dummy’s king and takes the A-K of hearts (a “Vienna Coup” to set up a squeeze). He then runs his trumps. At the end, dummy has the A-K-J of diamonds, and South has the jack of hearts and two diamonds. East is stuck.
The squeeze won’t work unless South loses an early trump.
Daily Question: You hold: & KJ3 h A K54 ( AKJ $ 7 6 5. Only your side is vulnerable. After two passes, the player at your right opens three spades. What do you say?
Answer: It might be nice to say “I double for penalty” if only the rules allowed. As it is, you must guess. To double for takeout might work if your partner responded four hearts, but otherwise you might land at a losing contract. Bid 3NT, hoping he has a share of the missing high cards.