“Spelling has odd rules,” I said to my friend the English professor. “What do you think of ‘I before E except after C’?” “It’s weird,” the prof replied. The prof and his partners see weird results in their penny game. In today’s deal, declarer inveigled them out of a game.
“I was East,” the prof said, “and South bid to a hopeless four spades. My partner led a heart instead of the king of clubs, but we still had four tricks to take. I played the queen, and South took the ace ... and led the 10!”
“My partner pondered but didn’t seize his opportunity: He played low. He thought I might have K-Q doubleton. So South threw a club from dummy on the king of hearts and lost two clubs and a trump.”
“I fixed my partner with a glacier-like stare,” the prof said, “and inveighed against his defense. He got feisty and said he wasn’t prescient. I guess neither of us was at fault.” “That result would’ve weighed heavily on me,” I said. “Confusion reigned,” the prof sighed. DAILY QUESTION: You hold: ♠ KJ9863 ♥ A K 10 ◆ A ♣ 10 7 4. Your partner opens one heart. The next player passes. What do you say? ANSWER: Slam is likely. A minimum hand for partner such as A 4, Q J 9 7 5 3, J 6 4, A 2 will yield a fine play for 13 tricks. Jump-shift to two spades, intending to show your heart support next. Tell your partner immediately that you may have a slam. If you respond one spade, you may have trouble getting him to cooperate in a slam hunt.