The Mercury News Weekend
“Do you believe in love at first sight?” I asked Cy the Cynic. Cy is my club’s resident authority on romance. He dates at least three women every week.
“I used to,” Cy said.
“I took a second look.”
In a team match, both Souths landed at four spades on a chunky 4-3 fit. West led the king and a low heart. At one table, declarer tried to maintain trump control: He discarded a diamond at Trick Two and his last low diamond when East led a third heart.
South won the trump shift and led a second trump. He would have been safe if trumps had split 4-2 or 3-3, but as it was, he took only eight tricks.
Cy was South at the other table, and when the defense led and continued hearts, Cy took a second look. He ruffed, cashed the A-K of clubs, ruffed a club in dummy, came to his ace of diamonds, ruffed a club in dummy, ruffed a heart and ruffed a club. He still had two high trumps in his hand for 10 tricks.
West should have led a trump at the second trick.
You hold: A Q 10 9 ♥ 2 ♦ A73 ♣ A K 5 4 3. You open one club, and your partner bids one spade. What do you say?
ANSWER: Your hand is worth at least 20 points in support of spades. A raise to four spades would suggest balanced pattern. Many players would try four hearts, a “splinter” bid to show a big spade fit, heart shortness and slam interest. An option is to manufacture a strengthshowing “reverse” to two diamonds, then support the spades.