FRANK STEWART BRIDGE
Like many of us, Unlucky Louie views the holiday season as a mix of joy and stress — more stress for him since he has a houseful of kids.
“I’ll be home for Christmas,” Louie told me, “and probably in therapy by New Year’s Day.”
Louie plays in his penny game to relieve stress, but the effect can be the opposite. When he declared today’s four spades, West led the jack of clubs: queen, king, ace. Louie then took dummy’s king of trumps and his A-K of hearts and ruffed a heart in dummy.
East overruffed and led a trump, and when Louie won, West showed out. Louie’s last heart was a loser, and he also lost a trump to East and a club to West. A stressful down one. Louie’s play was stressed out. Louie must start the hearts at Trick Two. When he ruffs a third heart low in dummy, East can overruff but is helpless. If for example he leads a club to West and overruffs dummy again on the next heart, Louie can ruff a club return and draw trumps; he has no more losers.
You hold: ♠ K 3 2 ♥ 86 ♦ A 7 6 3 ♣ Q 5 3 2. Your partner opens one heart, you respond 1NT, he bids two clubs and you raise to three clubs. Partner next bids three spades. What do you say?
Answer: Partner is trying for game and wants you to judge whether you have fitting cards. He didn’t bid one spade at his second turn, so his pattern is 3-5-1-4 or 3-5-0-5. Your ace is a good card. Bid five clubs or four hearts. Partner may hold A 7 6, A K Q 5 2, 2, K 10 9 4. South dealer