Extra Chances


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“Grapefruit told me he moved into a new retirement home,” Unlucky Louie informed us in the club lounge.

“What’s its name?” I asked.

“Based on his behavior, Atrocious Manors,” Cy the Cynic observed.

Grapefruit, our acid-tongued member, makes his partners miserable. He was today’s North. His cue bid of 3 substituted for the Stayman convention. West led the A-Q, and South took the king and started the diamonds, preparing to cash out.

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

Opening lead A

Doubleton

Alas, West discarded on the second diamond, and though the ♠J fell doubleton, South couldn’t untangle his nine tricks. He went down one, and Grapefruit told the kibitzers that South was one taco short of a combination plate.

Diamonds will break 5-1 about 14 percent of the time. After South takes the K, he gets an extra chance by cashing the A-Q of spades. When the jack falls, he takes the ♠10, four diamonds and then the ♠K to fulfill the contract.

Daily Question

You hold: ♠K 6 4 2   9 3   A K J 9 3   ♣9 4.
With only your side vulnerable, the dealer, at your left, opens 3♥. Your partner doubles, and the next player bids 4♥.
What do you say?

ANSWER
You might turn a profit by doubling, but your prospects to make a vulnerable game are bright. Since partner is almost sure to have good support for the other major, bid 4♠. You should have a chance even with possible bad splits.