'Spectacular' Play

“That’s the third time this week,” Cy the Cynic grumbled to me. “She’s an expert masquerading as a little old lady.”

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

Opening lead — 2
Minnie Bottoms, my club’s senior member, wears old bifocals that make her mix up kings and jacks, often to her opponents’ dismay. Cy has been Minnie’s chief victim.
Cy told me he was declarer at today’s 4♠, and Minnie, sitting West, led her singleton heart. East took the king and ace and led the jack.
“I played the queen,” Cy said, “and Minnie ruffed — with the KING of trumps.”
“Thinking it was the jack,” I laughed.

Down One

“I won the club return,” Cy said, “and naturally I let the nine of trumps ride next. Minnie produced the 10 for down one.”
If Minnie ruffs the third heart with the 10, Cy will surely cash the ace when he gets in. East, who passed as dealer, showed the A-K-J of hearts and probably has one of the missing club honors, so he wouldn’t hold the king of trumps.
“I’ll turn the tables on her yet,” Cy said bitterly.

Daily Question

You hold: ♠A Q 6 5 3  Q 9 4 3 K 5    ♣7 2.
Both sides vulnerable. The dealer, at your right, opens 1. What do you say?

A pessimist looks at his heart length, skimpy high-card values and ragged suit and passes. An optimist imagines that his partner doesn’t have many hearts and will therefore have spade support; he overcalls 1♠. Personally, I’m a pessimist, but the “right” style is the one you think will work for you.

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