“How are your stocks doing?” I asked Unlucky Louie. He has been beating his head against Wall Street for years.
“Poorly,” Louie sighed. “I think God created stock analysts just to make weather forecasters look good.”
Louie’s powers of bridge analysis aren’t great. When he was today’s East, West led the jack of diamonds against four hearts, and South won with the queen and let the ten of trumps ride.
Louie took the queen and led a low spade. South won, forced out West’s ace of trumps and won the spade return. He drew trumps, lost a club to the ace and claimed 10 tricks.
Louie should beat the contract. When he takes the queen of trumps, he can infer that West has the ace. If South had it, he would cash it before trying a finesse, or take the king and finesse against East. But if West has the ace of trumps, South has everything else.
Louie’s best chance is to shift to the ace and deuce of clubs. When West takes the ace of trumps, he gives Louie a club ruff.
You hold: SAKH 10 9 8 7 2 DAQ 4 C 7 6 3. You open one heart, and your partner bids one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?
ANSWER: To describe a balanced, minimum opening bid, bid 1NT. A rebid of two hearts would suggest a six-card suit. You have no other suit to show, and you can’t raise to two spades with a doubleton in support, even the AK. True, your lack of a club stopper is unpleasant, but you have no alternative call.
S 10 9 4 3
SJ 5 2
DJ 10 9 5
C 10 8 5 4
SQ 8 7 6
HQ 6 3
D 8 7 3 2
H 10 9 8 7 2
C 7 6 3
South West North East
1 H Pass 2 C Pass
2 NT Pass 3 H Pass
4 H All Pass
Opening lead — DJ
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