Putting it Together

For all his bridge-table shortcomings, Unlucky Louie is a doting papa. He finds time to spend with his little daughter.
“We did a jigsaw puzzle,” Louie told me. “I don’t want to brag, but we finished in one afternoon, and the box said 4 to 6 years.”

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

Opening lead — ♣2
Louie is better at jigsaw puzzles than at problem-solving in bridge. When he was today’s East, West led the ♣2 against 6. South won, led a trump to dummy’s 10 and returned the 3. Louie played low, and the queen won.

Spade Loser

South next led a trump to dummy and returned a second low diamond. Louie stewed … and finally took his ace. South then pitched his spade loser on the K and made the slam.
Louie’s problem was solvable. South’s Q couldn’t be a singleton. If West had J-10-9-7, his opening lead would have been a diamond from his sequence, not a club from a broken suit. And if South held Q-J doubleton, he had 12 tricks.

Daily Question

You hold:
♠ K 10 8 5
7 4
J 9 7
♣ Q 10 6 2
The dealer, at your left, opens 1. Your partner doubles, you respond 1♠ and he raises to 3♠. What do you say?

The key to these situations is to imagine how much worse your hand might be. Your 1♠ promised nothing, yet partner has undertaken a nine-trick contract. Bid 4♠. Your ♠K and ♣Q should suffice to win 10 tricks.

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