Unlucky Louie is my club’s resident authority: not on bridge but on being a parent. Louie has one married daughter, two more in college and a few more kids still under his roof. I heard him explaining parenting to a couple considering adoption.
“It’s 45 percent aggravation,” Louie said, “and 55 percent being confused by your kid’s math homework.”
Louie’s knowledge of percentages doesn’t extend to bridge. At today’s 3NT, Louie took the king of hearts, cashed the AK of spades and led a third spade. Alas, East won, and West discarded. East then led a low diamond: ten, jack.
Louie won the heart return in dummy and conceded a spade. When East led another diamond, Louie put up his king — and went down two.
Louie’s best percentage play is to lead a spade to his nine. As it happens, the nine wins, and Louie can set up four spade tricks for nine in all. The correct plays wins if spades break 3-3 or if East has the QJ or a doubleton honor. Louie’s play was inferior.
You hold: SK 10 5 4 3 HAQ 6 D 4 2 CA 8 7. Your partner opens one club, you respond one spade and he rebids two clubs. What do you say?
ANSWER: You almost certainly have a game, but your best game may be five clubs, four spades or 3NT. Bid two hearts, a forcing bid in a new suit. Your partner is unlikely to raise hearts. If he bids two spades, you can try four spades (or bid three clubs, forcing); if he next bids 2NT, you will raise to 3NT.
SK 10 5 4 3
D 4 2
CA 8 7
S 8 7
HJ 10 9 7
CQ 10 4 2
SQJ 6 2
H 8 3 2
DQ 9 8 6
HK 5 4
DK 10 5 3
CK 6 5 3
South West North East
1 C Pass 1 S Pass
1 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — HJ
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