Friday, July 13
Bridge requires judgment based on experience. Cy the Cynic defines experience as what you get just after you need it.
After Cy, East, tossed in a one-spade overcall, West led the 10 against 3NT: jack, queen, ace. South next let the nine of hearts ride, and the Cynic took the king and led a club. South finessed, and when West won and led his last spade, South went down.
South could learn from experience: He must let Cy’s queen win the first spade. Cy can’t profitably continue spades. If he leads a club, South can grab the ace and finesse in hearts. Cy wins, but South has eight tricks and time to set up the clubs.
South could succeed even if he ducked Cy’s club shift. West will win and lead his last spade: three, seven, ace. South then cashes his minor-suit winners.
At the end, assuming East has thrown a spade to keep K-x of hearts, South can exit with a spade for an end play. If instead East has thrown two hearts, South can safely lead a heart to the ace.
You hold: ♠ KQ875 ♥ K62 ◆ 10 7 6 ♣ 8 3. Your partner opens one heart. The next player passes. What do you say?
ANSWER: If your hand were stronger — say you held K Q 8 7 5, A J 2, 10 7 6, 8 3 — you would treat it as too strong for a direct single raise. Then you would temporize with a one-spade response. On the actual hand, the correct call is a raise to two hearts, which confirms a trump suit and limits your strength. A one-spade response would do neither.