Friday, November 2
Experts are reluctant to admit a mistake. A famous expert defined one as any action he wouldn’t take. But Adam Wildavsky graciously reported today’s deal from the Summer NABC. He was South in a Spingold Teams match.
North-South could have mangled five diamonds doubled, but when Wildavsky pulled to five spades, North raised to six. West led the king of clubs, won by the ace.
South planned to set up dummy’s fifth heart for a discard. If hearts broke 4-2, he would lead a trump to dummy’s 10 to try for a needed extra entry. So Wildavsky led the K-A and a third heart. When East, who had pre-empted, followed suit, Wildavsky ruffed low — and West overruffed. Down two.
Wildavsky noted that since he needed a 2-1 trump break, he should have ruffed the third heart with the king. Then he could lead a trump to the 10, ruff a heart with the queen and go to the ace of trumps for the good heart.
It was no obvious play. In the replay, South also went down at six spades. DAILY QUESTION:
You hold: ♠ A 10 ♥ A9764 ◆ K 10 5 ♣ J 4 3. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he bids two clubs. What do you say?
ANSWER: It’s a judgment call. I would be willing to commit to game, especially if playing with a sound opening bidder. A bid of three diamonds is possible, if forcing, but many pairs treat such a jump-preference as invitational. Bid 3NT, your most likely game. If partner’s spades are J-x-x, you need to be declarer.