Bridge: Jan. 25, 2023

My friend known to all as Second Hand Rose played at the club today. When the lesson about “second hand low” was taught, Rose was out on a date with Jiggs the plumber.

In a team match, both Souths played at four hearts. North’s jump to three hearts invited game. West led the king of clubs, and both declarers took dummy’s ace and casually led a diamond.

At one table, East played the nine. South took his ace, drew trumps, ruffed dummy’s last club and exited with a diamond. When East won, he had to lead a club, conceding a ruff-sluff, or a spade from his jack. South had only two more losers, making four.

REPLAY

Rose was East in the replay. When dummy led a diamond at Trick Two, Second Hand Rose … with the king(!), a play that could hardly cost.

Play continued as at the first table, but when South exited with a diamond at the sixth trick, West took the ten and jack and led the queen, forcing dummy. South had to break the spades, and he lost two tricks there for down one.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S Q 10 3 H K 10 7 5 2 D 6 5 2 C A 5. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he bids two clubs. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your hand is slightly too weak for a forward-going second bid of 2NT, and a rebid of two hearts would suggest weakness but a longer or at least a much more robust suit. Bid two diamonds. Maybe partner will bid again, but the contract will be playable if he must pass.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

S Q 10 3

H K 10 7 5 2

D 6 5 2

C A 5

WEST

S A 8 7

H 6

D Q J 10 3

C K Q J 9 4

EAST

S J 9 6 4

H 8 3

D K 9

C 10 8 7 6 3

SOUTH

S K 5 2

H A Q J 9 4

D A 8 7 4

C 2

South West North East
1 H 2 C 3 H Pass
4 H All Pass
Opening lead — C K

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