February 24, 2024
Even a pro golfer makes only about half of his six-foot putts. (It seems like more because the players you see on TV are the ones putting well that week.) How often would you expect an expert declarer to resolve a two-way guess for a queen? In today’s deal, West led the deuce of diamonds

Even a pro golfer makes only about half of his six-foot putts. (It seems like more because the players you see on TV are the ones putting well that week.) How often would you expect an expert declarer to resolve a two-way guess for a queen?

In today’s deal, West led the deuce of diamonds against six hearts. Declarer won and had to play the trumps. Since West’s lead suggested four diamonds, giving East six, South judged that West was more likely to have length in trumps. So South started with the ace.

CLUB LOSERS

South still wasn’t home; he was threatened with two club losers. But after he picked up the trumps, he took his spade tricks, then led dummy’s queen of diamonds. When East followed low, South discarded a club.

West took the king and was end-played. He had to lead a club to South’s A-Q or concede a ruff-sluff.

My guess is that a good declarer will locate a missing queen at least 75 percent of the time. Invariably, clues from the bidding or defense will guide him.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S A J 2 H K 9 8 4 D Q 8 C 10 5 4 2. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart, he bids two clubs and you try 2NT. Partner next bids three clubs. What do you say?

ANSWER: You might have raised partner’s two clubs to three clubs. His third bid suggests minimum opening values with 10 minor-suit cards. He wants no part of either game or notrump. Pass. If partner holds 76,6,AK965,AJ763, any game contract will be an underdog.

North dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

S A J 2

H K 9 8 4

D Q 8

C 10 5 4 2

WEST

S 10 6 5

H Q 5 3

D K 7 4 2

C K 7 6

EAST

S 9 8 7 4

H None

D J 10 9 6 5 3

C J 9 8

SOUTH

S K Q 3

H A J 10 7 6 2

D A

C A Q 3

North East South West
Pass Pass 1 H Pass
3 H Pass 6 H All Pass
Opening lead — D 2

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