Oct. 6, 2023 – The Mercury News

Cy the Cynic is a devout procrastinator. He says work is a noble endeavor, and some should always be saved for tomorrow. Cy’s tendency often helps him as declarer, when he waits to draw trumps.

At four spades, Cy saw a possible loser in each suit, but he could hope to discard a heart from dummy on a second diamond winner. He took the ace of hearts, led a trump to his ace and returned a diamond. West won and led the queen of trumps.


If Cy wins and goes to the queen of diamonds, he has no quick re-entry to his hand. If he leads the ace and a second club, East wins and leads a heart to dummy. Then if Cy tries to return to his hand with a club ruff, West overruffs and cashes a heart for down one.

Cy saw the problem: He procrastinated by letting West’s queen of trumps win. When West next led a second heart, the Cynic won, took the queen of diamonds, led a trump to his hand, threw dummy’s last heart on the ace of diamonds and ruffed his last heart in dummy. Making four.


You hold: S 8 7 5 3 H A K 6 D Q 2 C A 10 8 7. The dealer, at your right, opens one heart. You double, and your partner bids (“advances”) two diamonds. What do you say?

ANSWER: Many players would have doubled, risking an unwelcome response in diamonds; a few players would have passed. Now that partner has bid diamonds, you must pass, table dummy and apologize for the inadequate support. A further bid would suggest a much stronger hand.

North dealer

Both sides vulnerable


S 8 7 5 3

H A K 6

D Q 2

C A 10 8 7


S Q J 9

H J 10 5

D K 10 9 4 3

C 5 4


S 10

H Q 9 8 2

D J 8 7

C K Q J 6 2


S A K 6 4 2

H 7 4 3

D A 6 5

C 9 3

North East South West
1 C Pass 1 S Pass
2 S Pass 3 S Pass
4 S All Pass
Opening lead — H J

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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