FRANK STEWART BRIDGE
LOCATING A QUEEN
“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?
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.
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