Mon­day, Jan­uary 14

The Mercury News - - Legal Advertising And Public Notices - Frank Ste­wart

“My hus­band and I go over the deals we play,” a club player told me. “When I do some­thing wrong, we ‘dis­cuss’ it, and it’s like hear­ing, ‘This con­ver­sa­tion will be recorded for train­ing and qual­ity pur­poses.’”

My friend was East. West’s two clubs con­ven­tion­ally showed length in both ma­jors. North’s three hearts was a “splin­ter,” show­ing a club fit and heart short­ness. Against six clubs, West led the king of hearts.

“I played the 10,” East said, “and my hus­band led an­other heart. De­clarer ruffed in dummy, drew trumps and took the top di­a­monds. When West dis­carded, South shrugged and led a spade to his queen. Mak­ing six. My hus­band said we’d dis­cuss the deal later.”

East missed a good de­fense: She must over­take West’s king of hearts and lead a spade.

South could fi­nesse but will take the ace and rely on dummy’s di­a­monds. If they broke 4-2, South could set up the long di­a­mond for a spade dis­card. As it is, he fails. East’s de­fense re­moves one of his op­tions.


You hold: ♠ A Q ♥ 8 5 3 ◆ 9 3 ♣ A K 10 6 5 4. Your part­ner opens one heart, you re­spond two clubs and he bids two di­a­monds. What do you say?

AN­SWER: The dis­ci­plined call is three hearts, show­ing three-card sup­port for part­ner’s ma­jor suit — with a forc­ing jump. I’m a be­liever in dis­ci­pline, but I could ac­cept a bid of 3NT. You have two spade stop­pers and a pos­si­ble source of tricks in clubs, and a bad trump break might sink a heart con­tract.

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