Baltimore Sun

Bridge Play

- Frank Stewart

“The man won’t face facts,” Rose told me in the club lounge.

She has taken on Unlucky

Louie as a project, insisting that he’s not as bad as his results indicate.

“If he did,” Cy the Cynic observed, “he would probably stare them down.”

As today’s West, Louie led the ten of diamonds against six spades. Declarer took the ace, drew trumps, led to the king of diamonds, ruffed dummy’s last diamond, and cashed the queen, king and ace of hearts, as East followed. At Trick

Nine, South led a club from dummy and, with an air of resignatio­n, played his king.

RUFF-SLUFF

Louie pounced with his ace — and end-played himself. Whether he led a red card, conceding a ruff-sluff, or returned a club from his jack, South would win the rest.

The facts were that South was marked with 5-3-2-3 pattern, so Louie could beat the slam for sure by letting the king of clubs win. And as Rose pointed out, South surely held the queen of clubs; he would not have bid to six spades with K Q J 10 6,

Q109,A6,K104.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: ♠ A932 ♥ AK6

♦ K54 ♣ 7 5 3. Your partner opens one club, you respond one spade and he raises to two spades. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: You have 14 high-card points and surely have a game. If your partner’s raise guarantees four-card support, you can bid four spades. If he might have raised you with three-card support and a shapely hand, bid 3NT to give him the options of passing or insisting on a suit contract.

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