Cy’s Minimum Effort


frs1016@centurylink.net

If Cy the Cynic won a gold medal for laziness, he would send someone up to the podium to accept it. When Cy is declarer, he puts forth the minimum effort: He seizes on the first line of play that crosses his mind.

When Cy played today’s 6NT, he won the first heart with dummy’s ace, cashed the A, led a heart to his hand and returned a second diamond to dummy’s 10.

Alas, East took the queen, and the Cynic had only 11 tricks — three spades, three hearts, four diamonds and one club — and no chance for another.

How would you play the slam?

“Time for a new partner,” Cy growled.

Dlr: South ♠ Q J
Vul: N-S A Q 3
A K 10
♣ J 9 8 6 2
♠ 10 8 6 ♠ 9 7 5 4 2
10 9 8 7 6 5 4
7 6 Q 5 3
♣ K 7 5 3 ♣ Q 4
♠ A K 3
K J 2
J 9 8 4 2
♣ A 10
South West North East
1NT Pass 6NT All Pass

Opening lead — 10

One Chance/h2>

Cy gave himself only one chance and could do better. At trick two, he must lead a club to his 10. West takes the king and leads another heart, and Cy wins in dummy and cashes the ♣A. When East’s queen falls, Cy has four clubs, three spades, three hearts and two diamonds.

If the clubs didn’t produce four tricks, Cy could still finesse in diamonds, hoping for five tricks in that suit and 12 total.

Daily Question

You hold:
♠ A K 3
K J 2
J 9 8 4 2
♣ A 10
Neither side vulnerable. The dealer, at your right, opens 1. What do you say?

ANSWER
Personally, I don’t take 1NT overcalls lightly. If the opponents are vulnerable, sometimes I prefer to stay out of the auction with a strong balanced hand, hoping to collect a worthwhile penalty. Still, this hand seems to qualify for 1NT. It has two probable heart stoppers and a possible source of tricks in diamonds.
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