“The man’s a Houdini,” Cy the Cynic grumbled to me in the club lounge. “I had him staked to an anthill in this deal, and he escaped.”

Cy was talking about Ed, my club’s best player, who regularly takes Cy’s money — and everyone else’s — in our penny games. Ed was declarer at six diamonds, and West led a spade in deference to Cy’s overcall.

“I had the spades and hearts tied up as well as the king of clubs,” Cy said. “I thought we would beat the slam at least one trick.”


Ed took the ace of spades, cashed the ace of clubs, ruffed a club and took the A-K of trumps. When the Cynic threw a spade, Ed exited with a spade.

Cy was stuck. If he led the king of clubs, Ed would ruff and get two heart discards on the Q-7 of clubs; if Cy led a heart, Ed would get a free finesse plus an extra dummy entry to set up the clubs. When Cy led a third spade, Ed ruffed in dummy, ruffed a club to drop the king and easily took the rest.

“At least I didn’t double,” Cy growled.


You hold: S A 4 H A J 2 D 9 7 4 C A Q 7 4 2. You open 1NT (15 to 17 points), and your partner responds two diamonds, a transfer. You bid two hearts, and he then bids two spades. What do you say?

ANSWER: Partner’s two spades is forcing. Since you have a decent hand with three cards in hearts, you might jump to four hearts, but he might hold K Q 7 6, K 9 8 7 5, J 5 3, 3. Bid three clubs to show strength there and let him make the final decision.

North dealer

N-S vulnerable


S A 4

H A J 2

D 9 7 4

C A Q 7 4 2


S 9 6 5 2

H 7 4

D 10 5 2

C J 9 8 3


S K J 10 8 3

H Q 10 9 8

D 6

C K 10 5


S Q 7

H K 6 5 3

D A K Q J 8 3

C 6

North East South West

1 C 1 S 2 D Pass

2 NT Pass 4 D Pass

4 S Pass 6 D All Pass

Opening lead — S 2

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Source:: The Mercury News


Bridge: June 9, 2022

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