You know you’re getting older when the people telling you to slow down are your doctors and not the local police. My advice to aspiring declarers is, slow down. A minute of thought at the first trick may speed up things later.
Against today’s four spades, West led a low heart (not best). South ruffed in dummy, took the queen of trumps and next let the jack of clubs ride. West won and
shifted to the jack of diamonds, and the defense took three diamonds for down one.
Somebody — East or West
— should have gone to five hearts, perhaps scoring plus 650. East-West were lucky to be plus 50 since South makes four spades if he takes his time. At Trick One, South should discard a club from dummy instead of ruffing.
East wins and shifts to a club. South wins with the king, draws trumps, takes the ace of clubs and leads the nine for a ruffing finesse, intending to discard a diamond from dummy if West follows low. No
matter how the cards lie, South loses only three tricks.
You hold: ♠ AKJ103 ♥ 9
♦ 762 ♣ A K 9 8. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade, he rebids two hearts and you try three clubs. Partner then rebids three hearts. What do you say?
ANSWER: Your partner has a string of hearts — probably a sevencard suit — and minimum opening values. (He could have jumped to four hearts at his third turn with a more promising hand.) Raise to four hearts. Partner will be unlucky not to make it.