Stamford Advocate


- Frank Stewart

Cy the Cynic says — and I agree — that there is no such person as a good guesser. That’s the nature of having to guess. Capable declarers avoid unpleasant guesses through logical reasoning.

In today’s deal, South played at three hearts after North opened one diamond in second position. West led the ace and a second spade, and East won with the ten and shifted to the three of clubs. Declarer’s king lost to the ace, and West cashed the queen and led a third club.

South ruffed, drew trumps and led a diamond, finessing with the queen in dummy. He was down one when East produced the king.

“Your diamond finesse lost to a stiff king,” North complained.

“No way I could have guessed that situation,” South shrugged.

West, who passed as dealer, had shown the ace of spades and the A-Q of clubs. The king of diamonds would have given him an opening bid, so South should have led a diamond to dummy’s ace and hoped for good luck.

This week: reading the cards.

DAILY QUESTION You hold: S A 6 3 H 9 6 2 D 10 9 8 4 C A Q 6. Your partner opens one heart, and the next player passes. What do you say?

ANSWER: This situation is awkward. Your hand is worth 10 points — perhaps slightly more since the queen of clubs is supported by the ace and the diamond spots are impressive. Still, your trump support is poor and your pattern is dull. Raise to two hearts. It’s not terrible to have a bit extra for your bid once in a while.

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