Centre Daily Times (Sunday) - - Advice - BY FRANK STE­WART

Cy the Cynic had been ab­sent from the club since Tues­day. When he showed up for the Sun­day af­ter­noon du­pli­cate, I wanted to know where he had been.

“Some friends of mine went on a mini-va­ca­tion and asked me to water their plants and feed their animals,” Cy shrugged.

“That doesn’t sound tax­ing,” I said. “They’re farm­ers,” the Cynic growled.

Cy mis­cal­cu­lated as West in to­day’s deal. When South leaped to 3NT, he must have thought North would pro­duce a bet­ter hand for a dummy. (I would have also. Many Norths would con­sider a one-spade over­call rou­tine with that hand, but I pre­fer to have open­ing val­ues or more, espe­cially when vul­ner­a­ble.) Cy led a heart, and East con­trib­uted the ten. De­clarer won with the queen and led the jack of spades.

The Cynic took his ace, pon­dered and shifted to the jack of di­a­monds. South won with the queen, ran the spades and took three more di­a­monds to make his con­tract.

“Lead a club,” East sighed, “and we beat it by three tricks.”

“Lead­ing from the king of clubs was dan­ger­ous,” Cy sniffed.

Cy’s de­fense was clearly wrong. If South has both mi­nor-suit aces, he is sure of at least nine tricks. To beat 3NT, Cy must find East with an ace. If East has the ace of di­a­monds, South can never make the con­tract even if Cy shifts to a club and finds South with the A-Q. South will have only four spade tricks, a heart and two clubs.

But if East has the ace of clubs, Cy may need to lead a club. If South has the ace of di­a­monds, he may have nine tricks to cash when he gets in. West dealer

Both sides vul­ner­a­ble

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