I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND
I can sum up end plays, my topic this week, by paraphrasing a Beatles tune: “I’ll get by with a little help from my opponents.” Let them help you by giving them the lead in a losing position. Today’s West led the jack of clubs against six hearts. South won and drew trumps with the A-K, and East must have had a hard day’s night because he signaled with the nine of spades — a fatuous play eight days a week. (East should have let it be.) SQUEEZE South might have tried for his 12th trick by leading a spade to dummy’s king. But thanks to East’s signal, South thought, “We can work it out.” South could have played East for three or more diamonds and tried for a complex spade-diamond squeeze. Instead, South threw two spades from dummy on the K-Q of clubs, took the A-K of diamonds and led the king of spades. When East won, he had to provide a little Help: He had to lead a spade or a club, and South sang a few bars of “I feel fine” as he pitched his last diamond and ruffed in dummy. DAILY QUESTION You hold: ♠ K 10 3 ♥A J 10 8 ♦K 8653 ♣ A. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he bids two clubs. What do you say?
ANSWER: A grand slam is possible even if partner has minimum high-card values, especially if he has little “waste” in clubs opposite your singleton. He might hold AQ 2, 4, A Q 9 42, J 6 5 4. To paint a picture of your hand, bid two spades, planning to support diamonds next. Let partner judge whether he has fitting cards.