Right now, I have more than 7,000 emails I haven’t read, and the most pieces of snail mail in one day were 136. Humana chose to put every one of their reports in a separate envelope.
So when I found this one the other day with no return address on it, I was intrigued enough to open it immediately.
What I found inside was two pages on bridge with a brief note that said I might find this interesting, that he or she didn’t know the date of the book’s original copyright, but it went along with some of my columns about old time and new conventions and styles.
He had one question. Why would South consider opening his hand with two hearts? It is too big, so maybe he is using the new weak two bid. Then why would the author also mention the idea of the two-heart bid as strong when it is not in the 20-point range? And if it were strong, wouldn’t that be a two-club opening?
He wrote he had often read my columns, where I point out the differences in bids from the past until now.
I believe, however, this book was more about defense.
♠ K Q 10 7 4 2
♦ A 7 4 3
♣ 5 2
♠ 9 8 3
♥ 8 7 2
♦ K Q J 9
♣ A 9 7
♥ K Q J 9 5 4 3
♣ K Q J 3
♠ J 6 5
♥ A 10
♦ 10 8 5 2
♣ J 10 8 4
East and West are passing. South opened one heart. North responds one spade, and South jumps to four hearts, and that is the final contract.
West is on lead and leads the king of diamonds. If this had been my hand years ago, my then partner would probably pulled the ace of diamonds off the board before I could say a word.
With a singleton diamond in South’s hand, wouldn’t you have played the ace? I’m pretty sure I would have, but smart South is hoping West will play the queen of diamonds. If West does, South will throw away the ace of spades on the ace of diamonds, unblocking the spades to throw two losing clubs on the king and queen on board.
If I were West, I would think South had at least a doubleton, or why not play the ace. Of course, if you are playing against two grumpies, you might think South was disgruntled to think that North was trying to play the hand from his side before South had time to call for a card, so maybe just bypassed the ace to show North who’s in charge.
We have both aggressive and passive aggressives in our club.
The safest lead for West is a trump.
Nancy Evins, of Lebanon, is a certified bridge instructor. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.