The Mercury




“Have you compiled a bucket list,” I asked Cy the Cynic in the club lounge, “things you want to do before you die?” “I have,” Cy nodded. “The final item on my list is ‘Yell for help.’”

Defense at bridge is a matter of partnershi­p cooperatio­n. Careful defenders protect their partner and save him from going wrong. In today’s deal, West led the jack of diamonds — a fortunate choice — against four hearts. East won the second diamond with the queen and cashed the king. When West discarded a low club, East led the queen of spades next. South ruffed, drew trumps with the A-K and claimed. Making four. Too Old

“I’m getting too old to play this game alone,” East sighed.

On the third diamond, West should have yelled — loudly — for help. If he can induce East to lead a fourth diamond, West will score his queen of trumps for the setting trick. On the third diamond, West should help his partner by discarding his ace of spades. East will have no option but to continue diamonds.

Daily Question

You hold: ♠ K 75 2 ♥ J 6 3 ♦ 8 5 2 ♣A Q 3. You deal and pass, the next player passes, and your partner opens one heart. The player at your right passes. What do you say?

Answer: This case is close. Your hand is an absolute maximum for a raise to two hearts, but that would be my call. Some chance exists that partner has opened a bit light in third seat, and if you respond one spade, you might be dropped there when a heart contract would be superior. North dealer

Both sides vulnerable

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