April 3, 2024 – The Mercury News

Rose, whose courtesy and kindness towards other players at the club is admirable, took on Unlucky Louie as a project.

“He’s better than his results indicate,” insists Rose. “He plays too fast.”

Louie was today’s declarer. A diamond lead would certainly have sunk his slam, but West led with a heart. Louie quickly presented the king of dummy, and East won and moved to the king of diamonds. Louie won and drew trumps. He threw a diamond at the queen of hearts, but East’s remaining J-10-5 was enough to prevent Louie from winning a second round of hearts. He lost a diamond.

“The more I talk,” Rose sighs, “the faster he plays.”


Rose patiently explained to Louie that he had to play the devil on the first heart. The ten victories of the East, but Louie wins the diamond, draws the trumps and leads the king of hearts: ace, ruff.

Louie then leads a club to dummy, throws a diamond at the queen of hearts and leads the eight through the Eastern J-5. The dummy’s six becomes high for a second discarded diamond.


You hold: SQ 10 9 4 HKQ 8 6 2 Q 7 6 CA K. Your partner opens a heart, you respond 2NT like a conventional forced raise, and he offers three spades. What do you say?

ANSWER: In conjunction with your 2NT, partner’s three spades show a singleton spade. The idea is to let you judge whether you have useful or “wasted” honors against his singleton. Your queen of spades is lost, but the rest of your hand is encouraging. Make a bid to four clubs.

East Dealer

BORN. vulnerable


LP 10 9 4

Hong Kong 8 6 2

D 7 6




H 7 3

DJ 9 5 3

CJ 9 8 6 3 2


S 8 5

HAJ10 5 4

DK 10 4



SAKJ6 3 2


DA 8 2

C 7 5 4

East South West North
1 H 1 S Pass 2 H
Skip 4 S Skip 6 S
Everyone passes
Opening lead — H 7

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