June 21, 2022 – The Mercury News

In a Vanderbilt match at the ACBL Spring Championships, my fellow Alabaman Larry Sealy was today’s South. He traded on the favorable vulnerability to open with a featherweight preempt; I’ll admit that action would not have occurred to stodgy me. North innocently raised to five clubs.

The contract needed a little luck. As the cards lay, it also needed good play, but Sealy delivered. The defense led and continued spades, and Sealy ruffed and led a trump to dummy ‘s king, winning, and a trump to his queen.


When West discarded, declarer needed a friendly layout to have a chance. He let the nine of diamonds ride, led a second diamond — king, ace — and took the queen as East followed. Sealy next ruffed a spade, reducing to the same trump length as East, and took the queen, king and ace of hearts, as East followed again.

It was then Trick 12, and declarer had the J-9 of trumps behind East’s A-10. With dummy to lead, Sealy was sure of one more trick. Making five.


You hold: SQJ 10 9 6 HJ 10 7 6 2 DK 4 C 7. Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one spade and he rebids two diamonds. What do you say?

ANSWER: This situation is uneasy. To bid two hearts is tempting; partner might even have a hand with six diamonds and four hearts. Still, a bid of two hearts would be forcing and unlimited in strength and might induce him to bid too much. A contract of two diamonds should produce a plus. Pass.

South dealer

EW vulnerable


S 8 7 4 3


DAQ 10 8

CK 4


SQJ 10 9 6

HJ 10 7 6 2

DK 4

C 7



H 8 5 3

D 6 5 3

CA 10 6 2


S 2

HQ 4

DJ 9 7 2

CQJ 9 8 5 3

South West North East
3 C Pass 5 C All Pass
Opening lead — SQ

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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