Pretoria News - - THE X-FILES -


“It’s never in the last place you look. It was in the first place, but you missed it.” — graf­fiti Play­ers of­ten tell me their record at guess­ing miss­ing queens is per­fect: They al­ways mis­guess. An ex­pert de­clarer will usu­ally guess right. Clues will point the way. Against to­day’s 1NT, East takes the ace of spades and re­turns the three: jack, queen. De­clarer ex­pects a third spade, but West shifts to the jack of hearts. South takes the ace. Who has the queen of di­a­monds?

Sure En­try

South knows that East has the queen of hearts, and he had the ace of spades. If West had the ace of clubs — a sure en­try — he would have con­tin­ued spades to set up his suit. So East has the ace of clubs.

Most Easts would have opened in third seat with 12 points, so South should play West for the queen of di­a­monds. Af­ter South takes four di­a­monds, he can cash the king of spades and king of hearts and exit with a heart. East must give dummy the king of clubs, so South makes an over­trick.

Daily Ques­tion

You hold: ♠ A3 ♥ Q964 ♦ 65 ♣ A 10 7 4 3. Your part­ner opens one di­a­mond, the next player over­calls one spade and you dou­ble (neg­a­tive). Part­ner bids two hearts. What do you say?

An­swer: Your dou­ble promised a heart suit and enough strength to re­spond, plus di­a­mond sup­port or clubs. Part­ner’s two hearts is not a strength-show­ing “re­verse”; he has “raised” the suit your dou­ble promised. Still, your chances for game merit a raise to three hearts.

West dealer N-S vul­ner­a­ble

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