The Mercury News

Bridge >>

- By Frank Stewart

“Declare this contract,” Cy the Cynic said, showing me today’s North-South cards. “You’re at four spades. West leads the queen of hearts.”

I said I would play low from dummy, ruff the third heart and take the K-Q of trumps. If trumps broke 3-2, I would draw the last trump and play a low club from both hands in case of a 4-1 break. If East won and led a diamond, I could take the ace and run the clubs to discard diamonds.

“What if trumps split 4-1?” the

Cynic asked.

“Then I start the clubs at Trick Six, hoping they break 3-2,” I said. “When a defender ruffs, I win any return and go to the ace of trumps to finish the clubs.”


“My plan was the same,” Cy said. He filled in the East-West cards. “But East was Millard.”

Millard Pringle is a quiet little man who often gets lost in the maze of defensive rules.

“When dummy played low on the second heart,” Cy said, “Millard played the ace! I hope I never find out why. He then led a diamond. Make four spades now.”


You hold: ♠ A85 ♥ K42 ♦ 62 ♣ A Q 7 3 2. You open one club, and your partner bids one spade. North in today’s deal raised to two spades with this hand. Do you agree with that call?

ANSWER: I agree. In my experience, raising a major-suit response with decent three-card support in a suitable hand is a winning action. Anyway, no other bid is attractive. A rebid of two clubs would promise a six-card suit. A bid of 1NT with two low diamonds doesn’t appeal.

North dealer

Neither side vulnerable

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