Down in the Dumps

Dealer: North
Both sides vulnerable

S A J 8
H K J 9 5 3 2
C A 6
H 7 6 4
D 10 7 5 4
C K Q J 9 8 2
S 7 6 5 3
H A Q 10 8
D 9 8 6 3 2
S K Q 10 9 4 2
C 10 7 5 4 3
1 HPass1 SPass
2 NTPass4 SPass
PassDblRedblAll Pass
Opening Lead: C K

Cy the Cynic is a confirmed pessimist — he absorbs sunshine and radiates gloom — but I’d never seen him so downcast.”What ails you?” I asked.

Cy showed me today’s deal.

“I was South,” he said. “When North jumped to 2NT, I almost bid slam. After I settled for game and East doubled, I redoubled.”

West led the king of clubs, and East ruffed dummy’s ace and led a trump. The Cynic won in dummy and led a club, but East ruffed (!) to lead his last trump. Cy could ruff one club in dummy but lost two clubs to West at the end. Down one!


“Fate kicked me in the teeth,” Cy said.I was afraid that if I leveled with Cy, he might go jump off a cliff. When he wins East’s trump switch at Trick Two, he can ruff a heart and lead a club. If East ruffs and leads a trump, Cy wins in dummy, ruffs a heart, ruffs a club and ruffs a heart.

Cy then leads a diamond to dummy, returns a fourth heart and pitches his ace of diamonds on East’s ace! East must give dummy the rest.


You hold:
H7 6 4
D10 7 5 4
CK Q J 9 8 2
. With neither side vulnerable, your partner deals and opens one club. The next player doubles. What do you say?

A preemptive raise is in order to deter the opponents from finding their best trump fit and looking for game comfortably. Bid four clubs. If they bid game in a major, your partner can sacrifice if he wishes. If he has a good defensive hand, he’ll try for a plus on defense.

Copyright © 2015, Tribune Media Services

About the Author:

Frank Stewart is one of the world's most prolific bridge journalists. He won many tournament events before devoting himself to writing. Frank has published hundreds of magazine and on-line articles. He has written 24 books, among them "Becoming an Expert," "Play Bridge With Me," "Who Has the Queen?" and most recently "Keys to Winning Bridge." In 2014, Frank Stewart received the International Bridge Press Association's Alan Truscott Award. He has been the senior analyst for ACBL-wide Charity and International Fund events since 1980. Frank and his wife, Charlotte, a pediatric speech pathologist, live in Fayette AL. They have a 17-year-old daughter.

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