Louie on the Line

Dealer: South
Both sides vulnerable

S Q 10 9 7 6
H Q 6
D 9 5 3
C A Q 6
S 4
H A K J 10 7 3
D K J 8
C J 10 9
S 3
H 9 5 4 2
D 7 6 4
C K 8 7 4 3
S A K J 8 5 2
H 8
D A Q 10 2
C 5 2
1 S2 H3 SPass
4 SAll Pass
Opening Lead: H K

As I sat down to watch Unlucky Louie’s penny game, his opponents scored up a vulnerable slam.”How’s it going?” I asked hesitantly.

“I’m standing on a line,” Louie growled, “between giving up and seeing how much more I can take.”

Louie was declarer at today’s four spades, and West led the king of hearts and then the jack of clubs. Dummy’s queen lost to the king, and East switched to a diamond: ten, jack, three. West next led the ace of hearts. Louie ruffed, drew trumps and tried a diamond finesse with the queen, but West had the king. Down one.

“I give up,” Louie sighed.


Four spades was cold. Louie can take the ace of clubs at Trick Two and lead the queen of hearts, pitching his last club. He ruffs the next club, leads a trump to dummy, ruffs the last club, leads a trump to dummy and returns a diamond to his ten.West takes the jack, but if he returns a diamond, Louie gets a free finesse. If West leads anything else, he concedes a fatal ruff-sluff.


You hold:
SA K J 8 5 2
DA Q 10 2
C5 2
. You open one spade, your partner bids two hearts, you rebid two spades and he tries 2NT. What do you say?

This is a close case. Your partner has about 11 points, perhaps with balanced pattern though he may have a singleton spade. Since you have sound high-card values and a good six-card suit, and partner may have the king of diamonds, jump to four spades. He may hold 4 3, A Q 5 4 3, K 7 6, Q 9 3.

Copyright © 2015, Tribune Media Services

2018-03-01T21:48:04-08:00By |Categories: Chicago Tribune Bridge Column|0 Comments

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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