Bridge: Sept. 7, 2023

Bridge: Sept. 7, 2023

In a penny game, North was the dreaded Grapefruit, my club member who is as ornery as a bunkhouse cook and makes his partners miserable.

At 3NT, dummy’s ace won the first diamond, and Grapefruit played the deuce. When dummy led a club next, Grapefruit contributed the deuce of spades.

Declarer played the nine, letting West take his queen. West then resolutely led another diamond, South took four clubs, three diamonds and two spades, and Grapefruit boiled over like a pot of unwatched spaghetti.


“Partner,” he snarled, “were my deuces not low enough for you? Shift to the deuce of hearts.”

“I can’t lead away from the ace,” West said indignantly. “Declarer might have the king.”

Grapefruit told the kibitzers that if somebody gave West a penny for his thoughts, they should get change back.

When West takes the queen of clubs, he can count nine tricks for declarer. Moreover, West should treat East’s deuces in diamonds and spades as urging a shift to hearts.


You hold: S K 7 H 8 6 4 3 D A K C J 10 7 6 5. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart, he bids one spade and you jump to 2NT. Partner then bids three clubs. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your 2NT invited game. Partner’s three clubs expresses doubt about game and notrump but greatly improves your hand: You have no “wasted” heart honors opposite his singleton or void. Bid at least five clubs. Partner may hold A964,None,QJ864,AQ83.

South dealer

E-W vulnerable


S K 7

H 8 6 4 3


C J 10 7 6 5


S 8 5

H A J 9 2

D J 10 9 8

C Q 8 4


S J 10 9 6 4 3 2

H K 5

D 7 4 3 2

C None



H Q 10 7

D Q 6 5

C A K 9 3 2

South West North East
1 NT Pass 2 C Pass
2 D Pass 3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — D J

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