Bridge: June 24, 2022

Grapefruit, our sourpuss member, returned to the club from hernia surgery. After snarling that the hospital needed an ICU next to the cashier’s office, he announced that he would recover his costs in our penny game.

Grapefruit was today’s North, and he and South bid to six hearts. South won the club opening lead and took the A-K of trumps, sighing when East discarded. South then led another club.

West ruffed and led the nine of spades, and South pondered, took dummy’s ace and tried a diamond finesse with his jack. West won, and Grapefruit announced that anyone had a right to be dumb, but South was abusing the privilege.


“That’s right, strike while the irony is hot,” South growled. “You wouldn’t have made it either.”

After South takes the top trumps, he should cash the ace of spades, then lead high clubs. If West ruffs, any lead gives South a 12th trick. If West declines to ruff a high club, South throws him in with his high trump for the same result.


You hold: S 8 H A K 8 7 4 3 D A K J C K 8 4. You open one heart, and your partner bids one spade. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your hand was almost worth opening two clubs to force to game. Now that partner has responded, you must commit to game. Some players might jump to four hearts, others to 3NT. A possible mark-time action is an improvised jump-shift to three clubs. Partner might hold a hand such as A 6 5 2, 2, Q 10 9 7 6 3, Q 5.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable



H J 10 9 5

D 10 9 6



S K 9 7 6 2

H Q 6 2

D Q 5 3 2

C 10


S 10 5 4 3

H None

D 8 7 4

C 9 7 6 5 3 2


S 8

H A K 8 7 4 3


C K 8 4

South West North East
1 H Pass 2 NT Pass
3 S Pass 4 C Pass
4 D Pass 4 H Pass
6 H All Pass
Opening lead — C 10

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