Stamford Advocate


- Frank Stewart

“Even people who claim everything is predestine­d and that we can do nothing to change it look before they cross the road.” — the late Stephen Hawking.

When you’re declarer, look both ways before you play to the first trick. In today’s deal, North’s 2NT “advance” after South’s double showed 10 or 11 points with spade strength. South placed the contract at four hearts, lusting after the 150 honors.

West led the nine of spades: king, ace, ruff. Declarer then cashed the A-K of trumps ... and East discarded. South took his last two high trumps and started the clubs, but when West ruffed the third club and led the jack of diamonds, the defense got three diamonds. South went down two. TRICK ONE Maybe South was foreordain­ed to go down, but I doubt it. If he looks both ways at Trick One, he will pitch a diamond instead of ruffing.

If East leads another spade (as good as anything), South discards another diamond and wins in dummy. He draws trumps and runs the clubs for 10 tricks. DAILY QUESTION You hold: S K Q 5 2 H 6 2 D K 8 5 3 C Q 6 3. The dealer, at your left, opens two hearts (weak). Your partner doubles, and the next player passes. What do you say?

ANSWER: Partner’s double suggests opening values (he really should have a bit more) with support for the unbid suits, especially the other major. With a conservati­ve partner, bid four spades or cue-bid three hearts. With an aggressive partner, jump to three spades to invite game.

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