Bridge: Aug. 23, 2023

Bridge: Aug. 23, 2023

“Did you ever play a musical instrument?” I asked Unlucky Louie in the club lounge.

“I was a percussionist in my high school band,” he replied.

“I’ve always wondered what somebody had to know to play the cymbals,” I mused.

“Nothing,” Louie shrugged, “except when.”

Louie was East in today’s deal from his penny game, and West led the deuce of spades against South’s four hearts (reached with a “transfer” auction). Louie knew the lead was a singleton; he took the K-A and led a third spade for West to ruff.


The defenders had their book, but South won West’s diamond shift, drew trumps, discarded his remaining diamonds on dummy’s good spades and claimed the rest. Making four.

Louie mistimed. He knew enough to give West a spade ruff but didn’t know when. Louie should lead the nine of spades at Trick Two. West ruffs and leads a diamond: jack, king, ace. Declarer can draw trumps, but when Louie takes his ace of spades, the defense cashes a diamond for down one.


You hold: S A K 9 4 H 5 D K 10 7 2 C J 9 6 2. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one spade and he bids two hearts. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your partner has “reversed” and promises a hand worth a trick better than a minimum (in some styles, more than that). Slam is so likely that you should tell partner now. Jump to four diamonds, showing excellent support. If he cue-bids five clubs next, bid six diamonds. He may hold 32,AK74,AQ965,A3.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S Q 10 8 6 3

H K Q 10 9 3

D J 5

C 8


S 2

H 8 6 2

D Q 9 6 4

C K 10 7 5 3


S A K 9 4

H 5

D K 10 7 2

C J 9 6 2


S J 7 5

H A J 7 4

D A 8 3

C A Q 4

South West North East
1 NT Pass 2 D Pass
2 H Pass 2 S Pass
4 H All Pass
Opening lead — S 2

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