May 6, 2022 – The Mercury News

“Not much can be said about the period except that some people don’t reach it quickly enough.” — grammarian William Zinssner on punctuation.

South had a lot to say after today’s deal. You can decide if his comments his made sense. At six spades, South took the ace of hearts, led a diamond to dummy’s queen and threw a heart on the ace. He threw two more hearts on the AK of clubs, ruffed a diamond and ruffed a heart in dummy. East overruffed, and South lost two more tricks.


“What kind of bidding was that?” South raved. “You didn’t support my spades at your second turn, and then when I rebid them, you put me in six.”

And so on.

I’ll have the last word. North’s bidding was reasonable, and South’s play was wrong. South must ruff the opening lead in dummy, ruff a club and draw trumps. He discards a diamond from dummy on the ace of hearts, leads a diamond to the queen, takes the AK of clubs and concedes the fourth club. East must lead a diamond, and dummy is good.


You hold: S 8 HKQJ 9 8 DKJ 10 8 2 CQ J. Your partner opens one spade, you bid two hearts, he rebids two spades and you try three diamonds. Partner then rebids three spades. What do you say?

ANSWER: You have 13 points, and your bid of three diamonds — a new suit at the three level — committed to game in theory. But partner has shown a minimum, shapely hand. What he needs from you is aces; some of your secondary honors may be worthless to him. Pass.

West dealer

NS vulnerable


S 7 5 3

H None


CAK 7 6 5 4 3


S 8

HKQJ 9 8

DKJ 10 8 2



S 10 9 6 2

H 5

D 9 7 6 4

C 10 9 8 2



HA 10 7 6 4 3 2

D 3

C None

West North East South
1 H 2 C Pass 2 S
3 D(!) 4 C Pass 4 S
Pass 6 S All Pass

Opening lead — HK

(C)2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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