Home News June 11, 2024 – The Mercury News

June 11, 2024 – The Mercury News


“Grapefruit has laryngitis,” Rose told me. “We’re taking up a collection to send him to a doctor.”

“Can a doctor treat that?”

“We hope he can prolong it.”

Grapefruit makes his partners miserable. He was today’s West, and East was as nervous as a mail-carrier at a dog show. Against six hearts, Grapefruit led his club, and South took the queen and cashed the A-K of trumps. He next led a club, Grapefruit rightly discarded and dummy’s ace won.


South then drew the last trump — and East played the nine of spades! South noted that. He took the K-A of diamonds and two more trumps. East had to keep the K-J of spades and J-10 of clubs, and South led the king and his last club, end-playing him.

“You told him how to play,” Grapefruit growled.

“I had an idea …” East began.

“If you ever had an idea in your brain,” Grapefruit snarled, “it would be a stowaway.”

Grapefruit was unkind, but East’s nine of spades was silly. Signal to help partner, not declarer.


You hold: S K J 9 2 H 9 8 D Q 10 C J 10 9 7 4. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade and he bids two diamonds. What do you say?

ANSWER: This situation is stressful, but you must bite the bullet and bid two hearts. Partner may have five hearts but only four diamonds, and you must return to the longer combined trump holding. He will expect only a tolerance for hearts; with real support, you would have bid two hearts directly.

North dealer

N-S vulnerable


S A Q 6 3

H J 6 3

D K 7 4

C A Q 8


S 10 8 7 5

H 7 5 2

D J 9 8 6 5

C 3


S K J 9 2

H 9 8

D Q 10

C J 10 9 7 4


S 4

H A K Q 10 4

D A 3 2

C K 6 5 2

North East South West
1 NT Pass 3 H Pass
4 H Pass 5 D Pass
6 H All Pass
Opening lead — C 3

©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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