“The man was born with a sil­ver horse­shoe in his mouth,” Un­lucky Louie grum­bled. Louie meant the player we call Har­low the Halo.

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - by Frank Ste­wart

While Louie’s bad luck is un­end­ing, Har­low con­tin­u­ally basks in a tan­ning bed of good luck. His fi­nesses never lose, his er­rors never cost.

In a team match, both Louie and Har­low played six spades. Har­low took the A-K of clubs, ruffed his last club in dummy, cashed the king of trumps, fi­nessed with the jack and took the ace. He led a di­a­mond to dummy’s jack, win­ning, and made seven.

“If he had needed a 3-3 di­a­mond break, he’d have got­ten that too,” Louie sighed.

Louie’s play was bet­ter. He took the ace of hearts at Trick Two and then the A-K of trumps. He threw a di­a­mond on the king of hearts, ruffed a heart, cashed his sec­ond high club and ruffed his last club in dummy. Louie then ruffed a heart and went to the ace of di­a­monds to dis­card his last low di­a­mond on the good fifth heart.

Too bad, Louie. Har­low’s luck can’t last for­ever. Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & AJ986 h A ( K875 $ A K 3. You open one spade, and your part­ner re­sponds 1NT. What do you say?

An­swer: This is an un­easy sit­u­a­tion in “Stan­dard” meth­ods. You seem to have the strength for game, and many play­ers would choose a jump-shift to three di­a­monds. But your hand is not quite worth its point count; many of your val­ues are lo­cated in your shorter suits. If you chose to bid two di­a­monds or per­haps 2NT, I wouldn’t be crit­i­cal.

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