Bridge: Jan. 23, 2023

One of Unlucky Louie’s daughters is studying to be a cosmetologist.

“She told me she overslept and missed the final in one course,” Louie told me.

“So she failed the course?”

“No,” Louie said solemnly. “They let her take a make-up exam.”

As declarer, you get just one chance. Against today’s five diamonds, West led the ace and a second club. South won, throwing a heart from dummy, and drew trumps. He threw another heart from dummy on his third high club and led a heart. West won and exited with a heart, and South lost a spade to West’s king later. Down one.

SECOND TRICK

South blew his chance at Trick Two; he must discard a spade from dummy. He draws trumps and leads the three of hearts. West must play low; if he grabs his ace, dummy’s king will furnish a spade discard.

When the king wins, South leads a trump to his hand, pitches a heart from dummy on his third high club and exits with the queen of hearts. West must lead a spade from his king or yield a ruff-sluff.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S A Q H Q 3 D A J 10 9 8 2 C K Q J. You open one diamond, and your partner bids one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: This situation is awkward. Now that partner has responded to your opening bid, game is almost certain. A jump to three diamonds would be an underbid. Some experts would bid 2NT, but that call would suggest a sure trick in hearts. I would try an improvised jump-shift to three clubs.

West dealer

Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

S 9 8 5 4 2

H K 8 4

D K Q 6 4

C 9

WEST

S K J 10

H A J 10 9 7

D 7

C A 6 5 3

EAST

S 7 6 3

H 6 5 2

D 5 3

C 10 8 7 4 2

SOUTH

S A Q

H Q 3

D A J 10 9 8 2

C K Q J

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

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