The Star Late Edition

FRANK STEWART BRIDGE

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MISTIMING

Bad timing can ruin a comedy skit, a stock purchase, a golf swing or the efficiency of a car’s engine. It was also declarer’s downfall in today’s deal. When West led a trump against four hearts, South rightly placed East with the queen. South won with dummy’s ace and next let the queen of spades ride. West won and led a second trump: deuce, ten, king.

Declarer next took the A-J of spades to pitch a diamond from dummy, cashed the K-A of diamonds and ruffed a diamond. He took the ace of clubs, but when East won the next club and cashed his queen of trumps, South had a diamond loser. Down one.

Winner

South mistimed. If East has Q-10-6 of trumps (likely), South can’t let him get in after his queen of trumps is a winner. At

Trick Two, dummy leads a low club.

East wins and leads a spade. West takes the king and leads another trump, but South is safe. He wins with the king, takes two spades to pitch a diamond from dummy, and crossruffs, losing only to East’s high trump.

Daily Question

You hold: ♠ A J 10 ♥ K853 ♦ A832♣ J 4. Both sides vulnerable. The dealer, at your right, opens one spade. What do you say?

Answer: This is a judgment call. Many experts would double. That action could work well by letting you reach a good game contract. But the hand is full of losers and looks better for defense. The adverse vulnerabil­ity and the possibilit­y of an unwelcome club response to a double would influence me to pass.

North dealer N-S vulnerable

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