Sept. 29, 2022 – The Mercury News


Thursday, September 29. It was warm in Los Angeles. We were working the daywatch out of Bunco. The boss is Capt. Stewart. My partner’s Bill Gannon. He’s a good player. My name’s Friday.

We got a call about a scam at a club in Burbank. We checked it out. The suspect was still playing when we got there. One of his opponents spoke with us.

“It was terrible, officer. Terrible.”

“Just the facts, ma’am.”

“Well, my partner was declarer at 3NT — I know, we should have been at five or six diamonds — and West led the deuce of hearts. My partner discarded a spade from dummy, and East played the queen! Declarer took the ace and lost a diamond finesse, and then East led a LOW heart.”


“Naturally, my partner placed West with the jack, so she played the eight. West won with the nine, and the defense ran the hearts for down one. East is a con artist. Cuff him!”

We arrested East on a charge of deceptive play. At trial, the judge said he wished he could defend as well.


You hold: S Q 7 4 3 H None D A Q J 9 5 C A Q 8 2. You open one diamond, your partner responds one heart, you bid one spade and he rebids two hearts. What do you say?

ANSWER: Face facts. Partner has six or maybe seven hearts but at most 10 high-card points. Game chances are poor at best, and his hand will take few tricks unless hearts are trumps. Don’t bid 2NT. Pass. When you have no trump fit and no compensating high-card values, stop bidding.

North dealer

N-S vulnerable


S Q 7 4 3

H None

D A Q J 9 5

C A Q 8 2


S K 10 6 2

H 9 6 5 2

D 6 3 2

C 5 3


S 9 5

H K Q J 7 4

D K 7

C J 10 9 7


S A J 8

H A 10 8 3

D 10 8 4

C K 6 4

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

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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