Home World May 31, 2024 – The Mercury News

May 31, 2024 – The Mercury News


“It’s fine to be an optimist, but carry an umbrella.” — graffiti

Today’s declarer thought he could afford to be an optimist at his 3NT. He won the first heart with the ace, led a club to his queen and took the A-K; the fall of the jack would have given him 10 tricks.

But as it was, declarer had to lose the fourth club to East, and then came the rain: a dreaded shift to the ten of diamonds. South played low, but a second diamond let West score his jack, king and ace.


South’s play would have been reasonable at matchpoint duplicate, but for money he should take out insurance. South can lose four diamond tricks only if the first lead comes from East, so South should handle the clubs so East can’t win a trick: At Trick Two South leads a club to his ten.

If West won, South would have four clubs, three hearts and two spades, and East-West could take at most four tricks. But when East happens to hold the jack of clubs, South makes an overtrick after all.


You hold: S A K 9 2 H A 5 D 6 5 C A K 9 8 3. Your partner opens one heart, you respond two clubs, he bids two diamonds and you try two spades. Partner then bids 2NT. What do you say?

ANSWER: Although partner’s bidding has not suggested any more than a minimum hand, slam is quite likely. He might hold 76,KJ1093,AK43,Q4. Bid 4NT. Since no trump suit is agreed, partner should treat that bid as a “quantitative” raise, not as ace-asking.

North dealer

N-S vulnerable


S A K 9 2

H A 5

D 6 5

C A K 9 8 3


S Q 5

H J 10 9 7 3

D A K J 9

C 4 2


S J 10 8 7

H 8 4 2

D 10 8

C J 7 6 5


S 6 4 3

H K Q 6

D Q 7 4 3 2

C Q 10

North East South West
1 C Pass 1 D Pass
1 S Pass 1 NT Pass
3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — H J

©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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