The Washington Post
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Cy the Cynic says that if you want to kill time, you might try working it to death. But some players are lazy; they are content to let contracts play themselves.
Today’s North-south might have stolen nine tricks at 3NT. Against five clubs, West led the jack of hearts, and South took the ace, drew trumps with the A-K and led a spade. He hoped West would foolishly rise with the ace, but West played low. Dummy’s king won, but West got the jack and ace later, plus a diamond.
South’s play was lazy. Could you do better?
South can take the ace of trumps at Trick Two, then lead a diamond, preparing an end play. As the cards lie, East can’t gain by putting up the king, so West captures South’s queen and leads another heart. South wins, leads a trump to dummy, ruffs a diamond, ruffs his last heart in dummy and ruffs a diamond.
South then leads his queen of spades at the ninth trick. West can’t gain by ducking, and if he takes the ace, he is end-played, forced to lead from his jack.
♠ Q 10 5 ♥ AK2
♦ Q ♣ KJ7542
You open one club, and your partner responds one spade. What do you say?
ANSWER: No second bid is ideal. You have almost enough strength for a jump to three clubs, but most players would want a stronger suit for that action. A rebid of two clubs might work out. I would choose a more encouraging raise to two spades. Since partner did not respond in a red suit, he is likely to have five or more spades.