The Arizona Republic

Louie’s pier pressure


Unlucky Louie says if his ship ever comes in, the pier will collapse. Louie blames his consistent losses on bad luck, despite all the evidence.

Louie played at 3NT in his penny game. He won the first heart with the ace, led a diamond to dummy’s ace and let the jack of clubs ride. When West took the queen and shifted to a spade, Louie had problems. If he grabbed dummy’s ace, the defense would be able to cash three spades when East took the ace of clubs.


So, Louie played a low spade from dummy, but East won and returned the 10 of diamonds. Louie ducked and won the next diamond, but when he led another club, East won and cashed a diamond. Down one.

“My luck is unchanging,” Louie sighed.

At Trick Two, Louie can lead the king of clubs from his hand. If West won and shifted to spades, Louie could afford to play low from dummy. When East wins and leads a diamond, Louie wins, forces out the queen of clubs and has three clubs, three hearts, two diamonds and a spade.

Daily question

You hold: ♠ A 9 5 4 ♥ 6 3 2 ♦ A 7 3 ♣J 10 4. Both sides vulnerable. The dealer, at your left, opens three hearts. Your partner doubles, and the next player bids four hearts. What do you say?

Answer: Your partner has a good hand and has either support for the unbid suits, especially for spades, or a powerful hand with a long suit. You mustn’t let the opponents steal the deal for a small penalty when you can probably make a game. Bid four spades.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable

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