Louie vs. Murphy

Unlucky Louie is my club’s foremost believer in Murphy’s Law. Louie says that what falls in the bathroom will land in the toilet, and the light bulb that’s hardest to replace will burn out most often.
Louie was declarer at today’s 4. As usual, something went wrong, and as usual, Louie failed to cope. He won the first spade with the ace and took the ace of trumps, sighing when East discarded. Louie took the king of trumps and next led a club to dummy’s king. He lost three clubs and a trump.

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

Opening lead — ♠J


“If I were a mechanic,” Louie said, “my nose would start to itch just when my hands were covered with grease.”
After Louie takes the top trumps, he should cash the A K, ruff a diamond, lead a spade to the king and return dummy’s last diamond.
When East follows, Louie discards a club: a loser on a loser. East must concede a ruff-sluff or give dummy the ♣K. Even if West ruffs the fourth diamond to lead a club, Louie loses only three tricks.

Daily Question

You hold:
♠K 3
9 8 5 2
A K 5 3
♣K 4 2
You open 1, and your partner responds 2♣. What do you say?

This is a matter of personal style. Some players would bid 2NT to show a balanced minimum opening bid. Others would raise to 3♣. I would accept either action. I would not accept a bid of 2, even if I were playing a style in which a “reverse” after a two-over-one response did not promise extra strength.

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