Profiling an Expert
“How do you define an expert?” a club player asked me. “Someone like Unlucky Louie has read all the books and made all the classic errors. Does that qualify him?”
“If an expert is somebody who knows when to panic,” I said, “Louie fits.”

Dlr: South ♠ 8 4 2
Vul: N-S J 8 4
K Q 10 5 3
♣ A 6
♠ Q 9 5 ♠ A J 10 7 6 3
7 K Q 2
9 7 6 4
♣ K J 10 7 5 2 ♣ 9 8 33
♠ K
A 10 9 6 5 3
A J 8 2
♣ Q 4
South West North East
1 Pass 2 2&spades
3 3♠ 4 All Pass

Opening lead — ♠5
Louie habitually plays too fast. He was declarer at 4, and when East took the ♠A, he led the 4. That looked like (and was) a singleton. So Louie won in dummy and led the jack of trumps, but when East played low stoically, Louie took his ace and led another trump.

Down One

Alas, East took the queen and led a club: queen, king, ace. When Louie next led a diamond, East ruffed and led another club for down one.
Louie hit the panic button when he took the ace of trumps. Suppose he let the jack ride, and West won and gave East a diamond ruff. Louie would still be safe. If East led a club next, Louie could take dummy’s ace, draw the last missing trump with the ace and run the diamonds for a club discard.

Daily Question

You hold:
♠ K
A 10 6 5 3
A J 8 2
♣ Q 4
Your partner opens 1♠, you bid 2, he rebids 2♠ and you try 3. Partner then bids 3NT. What do you say?

Though you might do better at 4 if partner has a bit of heart support, you can’t assume he has more than a low singleton. With three-card support, he often would have raised directly. With, say, Q-x, he might have bid 3 at his third turn. Pass.