Daily Bridge Club

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

Mad bridge party

As the game at the Mad Hat­ter’s wore on, the Red Queens, who were kib­itzers, kept ar­gu­ing over who was greater. The Queen of Hearts blus­tered that no ace or king dared cap­ture her. The Queen of Di­a­monds in­sisted that los­ing a trick could be bet­ter than win­ning one.

“I wish they would stop for one deal,” Alice thought wearily.

In to­day’s deal, Alice played at 3NT on an auc­tion tame by Won­der­land stan­dards. West, the Hat­ter, led the jack of di­a­monds, and dummy played low. East, the Dor­mouse, took the king ... and Alice gave the Queen of Di­a­monds a wink and fol­lowed with the queen!

FI­NESSE

East shifted to the queen of hearts. Alice played low so as not to en­rage Her Majesty, won the next heart, took the ace of clubs and led a di­a­mond to dummy’s nine. She re­turned a club to her ten and went to the ace of di­a­monds for a sec­ond club fi­nesse, win­ning four club tricks and nine in all.

“See?” the Queen of Di­a­monds crowed. “Un­less you un­block my card, you can fi­nesse only once in clubs. Down you go.”

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: ♠ 7 4 2 ♡ 7 6 5 3 ♢ A 9 5 ♣ 9 7 2. Your part­ner opens two clubs (strong, ar­ti­fi­cial), you re­spond two di­a­monds (neg­a­tive or wait­ing) and he bids two hearts. What do you say?

AN­SWER: A raise to three hearts would show at least a bit more strength, per­haps 7 4 2, 7 6 5 3, A Q 5, 9 7 2. A jump to four hearts would deny any side-suit ace, king, sin­gle­ton or void. Bid 2NT or, if your bid­ding meth­ods al­low for a “sec­ond neg­a­tive” here such as three clubs, make that call. South dealer N-S vul­ner­a­ble

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