Stamford Advocate


- Frank Stewart

In a money game at my club, East was John Underwood, known as “The Undertaker” because he tries to beat every contract by four tricks — and as a result he often doesn’t beat them at all.

John was East. West led the queen of hearts against four spades, and the defense took three hearts. John then led a trump. Since he had dummy’s diamond suit well stopped, he saw no danger. South won in dummy and led the jack of clubs, as if about to take a finesse ... and John played low! When South’s king won, he ran all his trumps.

With two tricks left, he had the queen of clubs and a diamond, and dummy had the A-Q of diamonds. John was squeezed. He discarded his ace of clubs, hoping West had the queen, and South claimed the last two tricks.

“I saw it and don’t believe it,” West sighed.

If John had bared his king of diamonds at the end, South would have led to the ace. He could infer that John had the king, otherwise even John might have taken his ace of clubs earlier.

DAILY QUESTION You hold: S 10 7 6 H A 8 3 D K 10 9 2 C A 9 6. Your partner opens one heart. The next player passes. What do you say?

ANSWER: In “Standard” methods, respond two diamonds. If partner rebids two hearts, raise to three. In today’s “two-over-one” style, in which a new-suit response at the two level would force to game, you must respond 1NT, which in that style is treated as forcing. “Two-over-one” is a dominant style; it has advantages and drawbacks.

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