Bridge: Aug. 12, 2020

Cy the Cynic struggles with his weight. Trying to shape up, he hired a personal trainer.

“How is that going?” I asked.

“He quit,” the Cynic sighed. “He gave me a too-weak notice.”

When Cy was declarer at today’s 3NT, West led the eight of hearts: deuce, nine, jack. Cy led a diamond to dummy’s jack, and East took the king and shifted to the seven of clubs. Cy finessed with his queen, and West won and shifted back to hearts. East played low.


Cy won and had eight tricks: three diamonds, two clubs, two hearts and a spade. He led a diamond to dummy and let the jack of spades ride, but West produced the king and led his last heart, and East took the ace and his fourth heart. Down one.

East-West defended strongly, but the Cynic’s play was weak. Cy failed to count winners and losers. He must put up the ace on the first club, lead a diamond to dummy and finesse in spades. He wins three spades — nine tricks in all — and the defense has only one trick in each suit.


You hold: S J 10 4 H Q 4 2 D A Q J 9 C 8 5 3. The dealer, at your left, opens one spade. Your partner doubles, you respond two diamonds and he bids two hearts. What do you say?

ANSWER: Since partner doubled before bidding a suit, he has substantial extra strength. If he held a hand such as 6, A J 10 7 6 3, K 6 5, A 10 2, he would have started with a two-heart overcall. Bid four hearts. Your hand was almost worth a game-invitational jump to three diamonds earlier.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S J 10 4

H Q 4 2

D A Q J 9

C 8 5 3


S K 7 3

H 8 7 6

D 8 4 3 2

C K 9 4


S 8 5 2

H A 10 9 5

D K 7

C 10 7 6 2


S A Q 9 6

H K J 3

D 10 6 5


South West North East1 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass

Opening lead — H 8


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Author: Frank Stewart