Out of the Loop


frs1016@centurylink.net

“Ever had an out-of-body experience?” Unlucky Louie asked me in the club lounge.

“I took a shower yesterday and had an out-of-body-wash experience,” Cy the Cynic offered.

“I’ve had out-of-money experiences,” Ed remarked.

As today’s declarer, Louie had an out-of-his-mind issue. He took the ♣K, drew trumps, cashed the ♣A and ruffed his low club. He took three high diamonds, pitching two hearts, and ruffed dummy’s last diamond.

At trick nine, Louie led a heart. West showed out, and Louie glumly conceded down one. Was he unlucky, or did he have an out-of-mind experience?

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

Opening lead — ♣5

Third Club

East discarded on the third club lead, so West had six clubs plus two trumps. And when Louie led the fourth diamond from dummy, East discarded again. So East’s pattern had been 2-6-3-2.

The heart position was unguessable, but Louie could succeed by discarding a third heart on the fourth diamond instead of ruffing. West would win and would have to concede a ruff-sluff.

Daily Question

You hold:
♠ A Q J 3 2
10 9 7 5
4
♣ A K 8
You open 1♠, your partner responds 2, you bid 2 and he rebids 3. What do you say?

ANSWER
In “Standard” methods, partner shows long diamonds but minimum values for a two-level response. (Even in a system where a two-level response is game-forcing, many pairs treat this sequence as not forcing.) Pass. You might make 3NT, but the odds would be against you.