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July 31, 2023 – The Mercury News

As if Unlucky Louie didn’t have enough woes … he was adjusting the mirror in the club washroom when it dislodged, fell and broke into smithereens.

“It’s really a good sign,” Louie said. “I’m sure to live at least seven more years.”

Louie remains optimistic despite all his “bad luck.” Truth be told, that is part of his problem. When he was declarer at today’s four hearts, West led a club, and East took the king and led the ace. Louie ruffed and took the A-Q of trumps.


When West discarded, Louie couldn’t draw trumps (leaving him with none); the defense would cash clubs when West took the ace of spades. So Louie started the spades, but West won the second spade and gave East a spade ruff. West also got a diamond, and Louie went down.

Louie was an optimist — he assumed a 3-2 trump break — when he should have been a pessimist. At Trick Two, he must discard his diamond loser. He can preserve his trump length and keep control.

This week: trump management.


You hold: S A 7 5 4 H 2 D Q 10 7 C Q 10 6 5 4. The dealer, at your left, opens one club. Your partner doubles, and the next player passes. What do you say?

ANSWER: Do not pass for penalty. To convert a takeout double at the one level, you would need solid clubs, not a broken holding, and a good hand. You also have your own offensive possibilities to consider. Bid one spade. If partner has extra strength, you may have a game in spades.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S J 9 2

H A Q 5

D A 8 5 3 2

C J 3


S A 7 5 4

H 2

D Q 10 7

C Q 10 6 5 4


S 8 6

H 9 8 6 3

D J 9

C A K 9 7 2


S K Q 10 3

H K J 10 7 4

D K 6 4

C 8

South West North East
1 H Pass 2 D Pass
2 H Pass 3 H Pass
4 H All Pass
South West North East

1 H Pass 2 D Pass

2 H Pass 3 H Pass

4 H All Pass

Opening lead — C 5

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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