August 1, 2022 – The Mercury News

“I give up,” Cy the cynical told me. “I surrender.”

“Minnie got you again?” »

Minnie Bottoms, a senior member of my club, wears old bifocals that cause her to confuse kings and jacks, often to the dismay of her opponents. Cy was Minnie’s main victim.

Cy played today’s 3NT and West led a spade. When dummy played low, Minnie, East, contributed jack! The Cynic took his queen and led a club, but Minnie won and led the king of spades. She won the next club and led her last spade, and West ran the spades. Down one.

jack of spades

“She thought her jack of spades was the king,” I smiled.

“No way,” Cy said. “She’s an expert disguised as a little old woman. The woman has my number.

“You have your own number,” growled Wendy, Cy’s opponent.

Minnie’s acting was okay; on bidding, West could have no points. As for Cy, he makes 3NT by putting dummy’s ace on the first spade or by letting Minnie’s valet win. Either playing would earn an exclamation point from me.


You hold: SKJ 3 H 10 9 6 5 DQ 10 7 4 CA K. You open a diamond and your partner announces a spade. What are you saying?

ANSWER: Expert opinion can be divided into two. A bid of 1NT, promising a balanced minimum opening bid, would be perfectly acceptable. I would try two spades. I’ve found raising a major flush response with good three-card support in a flush-oriented hand to be a winning tactic. Bidding is easier when a trump is suggested quickly.

South Dealer

BORN. vulnerable


SA 9


DJ 8 2

CQJ 10 9 2


S 10 8 7 6 5

H 8 4 3

D 9 6

C 8 5 3



M 10 9 6 5

QD 10 7 4



PI 4 2


DAK 5 3

C 7 6 4

South West North East
1NT Pass 3NT All Pass
Opening cable — S 6

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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