“It’s a wonder he hasn’t won the lottery. Twice,” Unlucky Louie grumbled to me in the club lounge. Louie meant the player we call Harlow the Halo. While Louie deals with misfortune, good luck shines on Harlow like good health.
In a team match, Louie and Harlow both played at four spades. West led the K-A of hearts.
“The Halo ruffed,” Louie said, “took dummy’s ace of diamonds, cashed the king of trumps, ruffed a heart and drew trumps. He had none left, but when he took the king of diamonds next, the queen fell conveniently. Making six!”
Louie’s play was better. After he took the ace of diamonds, he overtook the king of trumps with his ace, cashed the Q-J and led the king of diamonds. Even if the queen hadn’t appeared, Louie was safe. He would lose a diamond, a trump and a heart.
Harlow’s play would cost the contract more than half the time; Louie would almost always make it.
“The man could fall into an outhouse,” Louie sighed, “and emerge smelling like a rose.”
You hold: S 10 7 4 2 H A K 6 D Q 5 C Q J 9 3. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one spade, he bids two clubs and you try 2NT (granted, a questionable call). Partner next bids three diamonds. What do you say?
ANSWER: Partner suggests six diamonds, four clubs and extra values. With a minimum 6-4 hand, he would have rebid two diamonds to limit the strength. You may have a slam. Bid five clubs or three hearts.
Both sides vulnerable
H 8 7 4 3 2
C A 8 7 5 4 2
S 10 7 4 2
H A K 6
D Q 5
C Q J 9 3
S 9 8
H Q J 10 5
D 8 7 6 4 2
C K 6
S A Q J 6 5 3
D K J 10 9 3
South West North East
1 S Pass 2 C Pass
2 D Pass 2 H Pass
3 D Pass 3 S Pass
4 S All pass
Opening lead — H K
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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment