Hamilton Journal News



“Want to buy some of my antique yo-yos? No strings attached.” — graffiti

When you are declarer and opposed by expert defenders, you must put no faith in their plays. Their job is to mislead you, not provide you with an accurate picture of the deal.

In today’s deal from a team match, both Souths played at six hearts after a “transfer” response to

1NT by North and a “superaccep­t” by South. West led a club, and both declarers played the eight from dummy.

At one table, East covered with the 10, and South took the ace and drew trumps. He cashed four diamonds to pitch a club from dummy, shrugged and led a spade to the queen.

The finesse won, and South claimed the slam.

In the replay, East wasn’t eager to force South into trying a spade finesse: On the first club, East played the queen. South took the ace and drew trumps, but then he tried for a 12th trick by leading a club to dummy’s nine. He found that there had been strings attached to East’s play at Trick One.

DAILY QUESTION: You hold: AQ Q9865

AQJ J 9 8. You are the dealer. What is your opening call?

ANSWER: A few experts adamantly refuse to suppress a five-card major suit and would open one heart. I believe most experts think that describing the strength and shape of a hand in a single bid is beneficial and would open 1NT. Also, if you open one heart and hear a response of one spade from partner, you will have no descriptiv­e second bid.

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