Bridge: Aug. 24, 2023

Bridge: Aug. 24, 2023

If he dances well to whom fortune pipes, the player we call Harlow the Halo must be descended from Fred Astaire. Harlow’s good luck is unending. Meanwhile, we think Unlucky Louie once collided with a truck hauling mirrors.

In a team match, both Louie and Harlow played at five clubs; they ruffed the spade opening lead in dummy. Harlow cashed the ace of diamonds, drew trumps and led the jack of diamonds. When the queen appeared from West, Harlow claimed an overtrick.

“If East has the queen,” Louie grumbled to me, “Harlow goes down two.”


Louie’s play was better: At Trick Two he led the ten of diamonds from dummy. West took his queen and led a trump, but Louie drew trumps and ran the diamonds, winning six trumps, four diamonds and a ruff in dummy. If West had led a second spade, Louie would ruff in dummy and could come to his jack of diamonds to draw trumps.

Harlow’s play wins a little more than 50 percent of the time. Louie needed a 3-2 diamond break: 68 percent.


You hold: S None H K J 8 7 3 2 D A K 10 9 4 C J 8. Your partner opens one spade, you bid two hearts, he rebids two spades and you try three diamonds. Partner then rebids three spades. What do you say?

ANSWER: The situation is no longer promising. Partner has long spades but minimum opening values. Your heart honors and jack of clubs may be worthless to him. Pass. If partner’s hand is AQJ7653,4,76,A54, he will do well to win nine tricks.

North dealer

N-S vulnerable


S None

H K J 8 7 3 2

D A K 10 9 4

C J 8


S A K Q J 4 3

H 9 5

D Q 3

C 6 5 2


S 10 9 8 5

H A Q 10 6

D 8 7 5

C 4 3


S 7 6 2

H 4

D J 6 2

C A K Q 10 9 7

North East South West
1 H Pass 2 C 2 S
3 D 3 S 4 C 4 S
5 C All Pass
Opening lead — S K

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