Daily Bridge Club
Louie’s HMO woes
Unlucky Louie has a new HMO — and isn’t thrilled with it.
“My wife went to a network doctor,” Louie told me, “and came home with meds that are different colors and have little ‘m’s’ on them.” “It can’t be that bad,” I frowned. “The preventive medicine plan is an apple a day,” Louie said. “Come on.” “The only expense covered 100 percent,” Louie shrugged, “is embalming.”
As declarer at today’s 3NT, Louie won the first spade, took the ace of clubs and led to dummy’s jack. East won and returned a spade. Louie then finessed in hearts, but when clubs split 4-2, he took only two clubs, two spades, three hearts and a diamond.
Good insurance would save Louie. He must finesse in hearts at Trick Two. If East had the king, Louie would need four club tricks and would hope West had Q-x-x. But when the heart finesse wins, Louie needs only three clubs. He can play as safely as possible — saving the contract — by taking the K-A before leading toward the jack.
Youhold: 76 AJ4 7654 K J 5 2. Your partner opens one club. The next player bids one spade. What do you say?
ANSWER: You must show your hand, such as it is, especially since the next player may be about to raise the spades. Bid two clubs, showing six to nine points with support. It’s true that partner may have opened with a three-card club suit, but you can’t assume that. If he had a “prepared” opening bid, that’s for him to worry about. South dealer N-S vulnerable