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The Journal Gazette

Monday, April 15, 2019 1:00 am


Frank Stewart | Tribune Content Agency

“The man sits down to play,” Unlucky Louie sighed, “and an invisible rabbit's foot is stuck to his chair.”

Louie meant the player we call Harlow the Halo. His finesses never lose, his errors never cost.

“In a team match,” Louie said, showing today's deal, “Harlow and I both played at 3NT, and West led the three of spades. I won the second spade, led a heart to dummy's ace and returned a club to my queen. Next I led a low club to preserve communication.”

“After the defense took two spades, I won West's diamond shift with the ace, came to the ace of clubs, took the king of hearts, and went back to the king of diamonds for the good clubs. Making three.”

“Carefully played,” I said, and it was.

“Harlow wasn't careful,” Louie said, “just lucky. He took the ace of spades and ace of hearts, finessed in clubs ... and led the king and a low heart! West's queen fell, and Harlow had nine tricks.”

Poor Louie. One day, Harlow's luck will run out.

This week: entries.

Daily question: You hold: ♠ A 6 ♥ K J 6 3 2 ♦ J 4 3 ♣ A Q 6. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he bids two clubs. What do you say?

Answer: To jump to 3NT might be right, but your partner's hand is not well defined, and your best contract is uncertain. A bid of three diamonds would be acceptable if forcing, but in most partnerships it would be invitational. Bid two spades, the “fourth suit,” to try to get more information from partner.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable