“How often will a suit break 5-0?” Unlucky Louie asked me. “About one time in 25, I believe.” “For most people,” Louie grumbled. “In my case, the odds must be close to even money.”
Louie was declarer at four spades, and West led the ten of hearts: jack, queen, ruff. Louie next led a trump to dummy ... and East discarded.
Dummy next led the king of clubs, and West won and led another heart. Louie ruffed, took the queen of clubs and cashed his trumps, unblocking dummy’s jack of clubs. When he led a high club at the ninth trick, West ruffed with his long trump, and the defense ran the hearts. Down two.
“My luck,” Louie sighed.
Louie’s game was makable. He must play a low heart from dummy at Trick One. He ruffs, leads a trump to the king and forces out the ace of clubs.
West leads another heart, but Louie plays dummy’s jack and lets East’s queen win, pitching a diamond. However the defense continues, Louie can maintain control and win 10 tricks.
You hold: ♠ K J ♥ K J 4 3 ♦ 10 9 8 6 ♣ K Q J. Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one heart and he raises to two hearts. What do you say?
ANSWER: You have enough strength for game, and if partner’s raise promises four-card support, to bid four hearts would be reasonable. If he has raised with three-card support in a suitable hand (or perhaps even if he has four-card support), you may belong at notrump. Bid 3NT and let him judge. North dealer Neither side vulnerable