June 16, 2024
The player we call Secondhand Rose played in a penny game at my club yesterday. When the lesson about “second hand low” on defense was being taught, Rose was absent — maybe out on a date with Jiggs the plumber. Rose was today’s West and led the jack of spades against 3NT. (North quite properly

The player we call Secondhand Rose played in a penny game at my club yesterday. When the lesson about “second hand low” on defense was being taught, Rose was absent — maybe out on a date with Jiggs the plumber.

Rose was today’s West and led the jack of spades against 3NT. (North quite properly suppressed his club suit to raise to the nine-trick notrump game.) Declarer put up dummy’s king, and East took the ace and returned a spade. South played low and won the third spade.

At the fourth trick, declarer led a club — and Secondhand Rose … with the jack!

HIGH CLUBS

Declarer was stuck. If he played low from dummy to keep communication, Rose would cash two spades for down one. When instead declarer took dummy’s three high clubs, he also got two hearts and two diamonds, but only eight tricks in all.

South will make 3NT if Rose plays “second hand low” on the first club. South will play the nine from dummy, win East’s heart return and run the clubs for nine tricks.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S Q 6 2 H A K 8 3 D A K 10 2 C 6 2. Your partner opens one spade, you bid two diamonds, he rebids two spades and you try three hearts. Partner then bids 3NT. What do you say?

ANSWER: Slam is likely. Partner may hold AJ10543,52,43,AQ5. A bid of four spades now would invite slam; if interested only in game, you would have supported spades earlier. If you judge to issue a stronger invitation, jump to five spades, asking partner to bid a slam with a club control.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

S K 5

H 5 4 2

D 7 6 3

C A K Q 9 3

WEST

S J 10 9 7 4

H Q 10 7

D J 9 8

C J 4

EAST

S A 8 3

H J 9 6

D Q 5 4

C 10 8 7 5

SOUTH

S Q 6 2

H A K 8 3

D A K 10 2

C 6 2

South West North East
1 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — S J

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