Austin American-Statesman - - THE PLANNER - BY FRANK STE­WART

“A fool and his money are soon mar­ried.” — Cy the Cynic

Cy is no fan of matrimony. A hand that in­cludes a K-Q dou­ble­ton re­minds him of mar­riage, and he ex­pects dis­as­ter.

Cy was to­day’s South, and when West’s pre-empt was passed around, Cy dou­bled and con­verted North’s three-spade re­sponse to 3NT.

West led a spade, and East played low. Cy took the king and led the queen of hearts. East won and shifted to the 10 of clubs: four, king, three. Cy won the club re­turn, cashed his di­a­mond tricks and queen of spades, and led an­other heart. West claimed the rest: down two.

“I knew it,” the Cynic sighed.

In fact, West gave Cy a chance. A club open­ing lead would beat 3NT. With a spade lead, Cy can win with the king, over­take his queen with the ace, and lead the 10 — dis­card­ing his ace of clubs.

Then the de­fense must let Cy into dummy with the queen of clubs for the win­ning spades or give him time to set up his hearts. Ei­ther way, Cy makes his game.

DAILY QUES­TION: You hold: ♠ KQ ♥ QJ1094

◆ AKQJ ♣ A 4. You open two clubs, your part­ner re­sponds two di­a­monds, you bid two hearts and he raises to three hearts. What do you say?

AN­SWER: Your hand was worth a forc­ing open­ing bid, but only just. You had nine win­ners and barely ad­e­quate de­fen­sive val­ues. Bid four hearts. Part­ner may have as few as six points and only a bit of heart sup­port, so you should make no move to­ward slam.

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