One is Enough

You can't fool all the people all the time. But the average politician is happy with a bare majority, and a good declarer is willing to fool just one defender at the right moment.

In an Olympiad Teams, South landed at a hopeless game. The defense could take at least four tricks: a diamond, a diamond ruff and two more aces. Hopeless situations require desperate measures; so when East took the ace of diamonds, South dropped the king!

DISCARDS

It's hard to blame East for what ensued: he thought South would ruff a further diamond lead and might then set up dummy's hearts for club discards. So East shifted to the jack of clubs.

West won and led another club; and South ruffed, led a trump to dummy and returned a heart to his nine, looking for two diamond discards. West had to win with the ace; and South ruffed the next club, took the king of hearts, drew trumps and led the queen of hearts.

When East's jack fell, South threw his last diamond on the ten and claimed.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S 7 6 3 H A 7 6 3 D 2 C A Q 7 5 3. Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one heart and he next bids 1NT. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Game is unlikely; your partner has balanced pattern but at most 15 points. If vulnerable and in an aggressive mood, you can raise to 2NT, but a pass is your soundest action. You can't consider bidding two clubs, which might incite an unwelcome heart preference from partner.

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

S A Q 9

H Q 10 8 2

D 8 6 3

C 8 6 4

WEST (D)

S 7 6 3

H A 7 6 3

D 2

C A Q 7 5 3

EAST

S None

H J 5 4

D A Q J 10 9 5

C J 10 9 2

SOUTH

S K J 10 8 5 4 2

H K 9

D K 7 4

C K

West

Pass

Pass

North

Pass

4 S

East

3 D

All Pass

South

3 S

Opening lead -- D 2

Copyright 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate