Home News May 22, 2024 – The Mercury News

May 22, 2024 – The Mercury News


“Your honor,” the district attorney intoned, “we will prove that South committed a felony: He went down at a cold slam.”

“State your case,” the judge instructed, and the court kibitzed the evidence.

“At six spades,” the DA said, “South took the ace of clubs and drew trumps, pitching a club from dummy. He next led the ten of diamonds and let it ride. East won and returned a club, and declarer won, took the ace of hearts, ruffed a heart and led a second diamond to dummy’s queen. Down one.”

“You can’t blame my client when two finesses out of two lost,” South’s counsel roared.

Would you convict South of a misplay?


South was guilty. After he draws trumps, he can take the A-K of hearts and ruff a heart. When East-West follow, South leads to the king of clubs and ruffs a heart. Dummy’s fifth heart is good for a 12th trick, and South can try a diamond finesse with the queen for an overtrick.

If hearts broke 5-2, South could still take two diamond finesses.


You hold: S K 2 H A K 6 5 2 D A Q 7 C K 7 2. The dealer, at your right, opens one spade. You double, and your partner responds (“advances”) 1NT. What do you say?

ANSWER: Partner’s 1NT is not a “bust” call. If he had no points, he would prefer to bid a suit so he could win some trump tricks. He suggests a balanced six to nine points and a spade stopper. Bid 3NT. The play may go well when partner will know where the missing points lie.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S K 2

H A K 6 5 2

D A Q 7

C K 7 2


S 8 6 5

H Q 10 9 7

D 6 4

C Q J 10 9


S 7 3

H 8 4 3

D K J 3 2

C 8 6 5 4


S A Q J 10 9 4


D 10 9 8 5

C A 3

South West North East
1 S Pass 3 H Pass
3 S Pass 3 NT Pass
6 S All Pass
Opening lead — C Q

©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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