Stamford Advocate


- Frank Stewart

Vince Lombardi, the incomparab­le football coach, was asked about losing gracefully. After all, even the most successful football teams lose an occasional game. Lombardi, a fierce competitor, was adamant.

“Show me a good loser,” he said, “and I’ll show you a loser.”

It’s a rare deal when declarer has no losers, but some are better than others.

In today’s deal, a spade opening lead would have beaten four hearts, but West led the jack of diamonds.

South had a chance. He won and cashed the ace, king and queen of clubs for a spade discard. He next led a trump.

East won, carefully took his ace of spades and led his last club. When South ruffed, West overruffed with the ace, and East’s high trump won the setting trick.

South could succeed by losing a good loser. After he takes three clubs, he leads dummy’s fourth club and discards his last spade: a loser on a loser. The defenders can’t score their three high trumps separately. South loses two trumps and a club.


Q D 9 7 5 4 C 10 9 4 2. The dealer, at your left, opens one spade. Your partner doubles, and the next player bids two spades. What do you say?

ANSWER: It’s unclear where the other three players are finding their bids. Your partner may have a light, shapely double. Still, you must bid your own side of the table; you may have a game. Bid 2NT, showing about 11 points, balanced pattern and at least one trick in spades.

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