Home News June 3, 2024 – The Mercury News

June 3, 2024 – The Mercury News


The hardest thing to say — other than “Worcestershire sauce” — is “I was wrong.” That is especially true of bridge players.

A club player showed me today’s deal from a penny game. He was North. Even if South had been willing to open 1NT with a five-card major, he judged his hand too strong. At 3NT South won the first spade with the king and led a diamond to dummy’s queen.

East won and returned a spade. Declarer then went to the ace of diamonds and returned the nine of hearts, winning. He led the queen and ran five heart tricks, but when he led the king of clubs next, West claimed the rest with the ace plus good spades. Down one.


“I can’t convince my partner that he misplayed,” North told me. “He’s adamant.”

Even if the diamond finesse works, South needs a winning heart finesse to make 3NT. Hence, he should go to the ace of diamonds at Trick Two, then finesse in hearts. After he picks up the hearts, he leads the king of clubs to set up his ninth trick.


You hold: S A K H A J 10 8 4 D 8 5 2 C K Q 5. Your partner opens one spade, you bid two hearts and he rebids two spades. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Partner doesn’t promise six cards in spades but may have six. If he has a perfect minimum such as QJ9763,K6,A4,A43, seven spades will be a reasonable contract, so you must try for at least a small slam. Bid three clubs, forcing, hoping his next bid will enlighten you.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S 7 3

H Q 9 3

D A Q 6 3

C 8 7 4 3


S Q J 10 9 8 4

H 6 2

D J 4

C A J 10


S 6 5 2

H K 7 5

D K 10 9 7

C 9 6 2



H A J 10 8 4

D 8 5 2

C K Q 5

South West North East
1 H 1 S 2 H Pass
2 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — S Q

©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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