The Mercury News Weekend - - LOCAL NEWS - Frank Ste­wart

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.

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