Cy the Cynic says that if you want to kill time, you might try working it to death. But some players are lazy; they are content to let contracts play themselves.

Today’s North-South might have stolen nine tricks at 3NT. Against five clubs, West led the jack of hearts, and South took the ace, drew trumps with the A-K and led a spade. He hoped West would foolishly rise with the ace, but West played low. Dummy’s king won, but West got the jack and ace later, plus a diamond.

South’s play was lazy. Could you do better?


South can take the ace of trumps at Trick Two, then lead a diamond, preparing an end play. As the cards lie, East can’t gain by putting up the king, so West captures South’s queen and leads another heart. South wins, leads a trump to dummy, ruffs a diamond, ruffs his last heart in dummy and ruffs a diamond.

South then leads his queen of spades at the ninth trick. West can’t gain by ducking, and if he takes the ace, he is end-played, forced to lead from his jack.


You hold: S Q 10 5 H A K 2 D Q C K J 7 5 4 2. You open one club, and your partner responds one spade. What do you say?

ANSWER: No second bid is ideal. You have almost enough strength for a jump to three clubs, but most players would want a stronger suit for that action. A rebid of two clubs might work out. I would choose a more encouraging raise to two spades. Since partner did not respond in a red suit, he is likely to have five or more spades.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable


S K 6 3

H 5 3

D 10 4 3 2

C A Q 8 6


S A J 9 8 4

H J 10 9

D A J 7

C 9 3


S 7 2

H Q 8 7 6 4

D K 9 8 6 5

C 10


S Q 10 5

H A K 2


C K J 7 5 4 2

South West North East
1 C 1 S 2 C Pass
4 C Pass 5 C All Pass
Opening lead — H J

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Source:: The Mercury News


Bridge: March 8, 2023

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