“One of these days,” Cy the Cynic told me, “I’ll rip those glasses off his nose and run them through a paper shredder.”
Minnie Bottoms, a senior member of my club, wears old bifocals that cause her to confuse kings and jacks, often to the chagrin of her opponents. Cy was Minnie’s main victim.
Minnie was declarer at today’s four hearts, and Cy, West, led three high diamonds. Minnie cut and… led the jack of trumps!
“She thought her assets were AKQ,” I laughed. “She was just drawing trumps.”
“I played low,” said the cynic, “and Minnie then led the queen. I was helpless. If I dodged again, Minnie would see East discard, take the ace, cash in his black-suited winners and lose a single trump When instead I took the king and led another diamond, she cut in her hand and went to dummy to draw trumps with the 9-8.
Minnie’s play shredded the defense. If she leads the ace and queen of trumps, Cy can play low and get two tricks of trump no matter how Minnie continues.
You hold: SKJ 5 H 9 8 7 4 D 8 7 2 CAJ 5. Your partner opens a diamond, you answer a heart, he announces two clubs and you come back on two diamonds. The partner then bids 2NT. What are you saying?
ANSWER: The partner has tried the game despite your low preference, and your values are maximum. But he has about 16 points, so his scheme must be unbalanced. If he has a singleton heart, the defense can effectively lead hearts against 3NT. Offer three tiles.
M 9 8 7 4
D 8 7 2
S 9 4
Hong Kong 6 3 2
S 8 7 3 2
D 10 9 5
C 10 8 7 4 3
SAQ 10 6
D 6 4
South West North East
1 NT 2 D 3 D Pass
3 H Pass 4 H All Pass
Opening lead — DK
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