Home News March 28, 2024 – The Mercury News

March 28, 2024 – The Mercury News

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In the Senior Mixed Pairs at the Fall NABC, South was Mark Itabashi, one of the ACBL’s most successful players.

North-South slightly misjudged the auction. When North doubled, Itabashi thought his six-card spade suit made his hand worth a try for game. North thought she had enough to accept. The result was a spade game off two diamonds and the A-K of trumps. (Poor contracts can result when both players bid reasonably but boldly.)

There would have been no story if West had led a diamond, but the actual lead was a heart. Itabashi won with the queen, took the A-K of clubs and continued with dummy’s queen. East ruffed low, and declarer overruffed and led a heart.

CRASH

West could and should have ruffed, but he was reluctant to spend his ace. So Itabashi won in dummy and led the jack of clubs, East ruffed with the ten, and Itabashi overruffed again and led a trump, crashing the defenders’ A-K. Making four!

I can imagine the ensuing East-West conversation, but the lesson is to never give up. Hopeless contracts sometime succeed.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S K 10 2 H J 10 5 3 2 D K 8 6 C 8 6. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he bids one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: This situation is awkward. To pass might work, but you have two “working” kings, and since partner may have as many as 18 points, game is still in the picture. A bid of 1NT with two low clubs is unappealing, and you must not rebid the poor hearts and shouldn’t raise to two spades with only three-card support. Bid two diamonds.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

S Q 7 5

H A K 7 4

D 7 2

C K Q J 5

WEST

S A

H 6

D A Q J 9 4 3

C 9 7 4 3 2

EAST

S K 10 2

H J 10 5 3 2

D K 8 6

C 8 6

SOUTH

S J 9 8 6 4 3

H Q 9 8

D 10 5

C A 10

South West North East
Pass 1 D Dbl 1 H
2 S 3 D 4 S All Pass
Opening lead — H 6

©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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