Daily Bridge Club

The tree process

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - CLASSIFIED - By FRANK STE­WART Tri­bune Con­tent Agency

I read an in­struc­tional guide — 15 steps — for get­ting a Christ­mas tree, load­ing it onto the car, lug­ging into the house and set­ting it up so it won’t top­ple over. Ev­ery even-num­bered step was “Curse.”

The cue bid of two di­a­monds by to­day’s West showed length in both ma­jors. At six di­a­monds, South took the ace of spades and led a trump ... and West showed out. South cursed and took the K-A. He cashed the ace of hearts and then, know­ing he had a heart loser, tried a club to dummy’s jack.

East won and cashed his high trump. Curses! Down one.

THREE SPADES

South can save him­self some curses. East prob­a­bly has only three spades — with four, he might have bid two spades over North’s dou­ble — so af­ter South takes the king of trumps, he can ruff a spade, cash the ace of trumps, lead a heart to dummy and ruff the last spade.

South then takes the king of clubs and ex­its with a trump. As he hopes, East has only clubs left and must lead to dummy’s A-J, con­ced­ing the 12th trick.

DAILY QUES­TION

You hold: 876 K874 K53 A J 5. Your part­ner opens one di­a­mond, you re­spond one heart and he bids two clubs. What do you say?

AN­SWER: You have enough strength to in­vite game but not to force. If a jump-pref­er­ence to three di­a­monds would in­vite, fine. If it would be forc­ing, you are stuck. You can’t bid 2NT with poor spades. Un­der­bid with two di­a­monds or (if your sys­tem al­lows) try a “fourth­suit” bid of two spades. South dealer Both sides vul­ner­a­ble

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