The Journal Gazette
Friday, July 23, 2021 1:00 am


Frank Stewart Tribune Content Agency

The player we call Second Hand Rose showed up at my club today. When the lesson about “second hand low” on defense was taught, Rose must have been out on a date with Jiggs the plumber.

Rose was East. West led the king of spades against 3NT, dummy played low, Rose signaled with the jack, and West continued with the queen. South ducked again and won the third spade.

South then took dummy's three high diamonds. He next led a club, and Second Hand Rose ... with the king!

South was doomed. If he played low, Rose would cash two spades. South actually took the ace of clubs and jack of diamonds, finessed with dummy's queen of hearts and took the ace for his eighth trick, but he lost the rest.

South may make an overtrick if Rose plays “second hand low.” South will finesse with his jack of clubs. West can win and lead a heart, but even if South takes the ace, refusing a finesse, he can lead a second club to his ten, winning four clubs, four diamonds, a heart and a spade.

Daily question: You hold: ♠ A 5 2 ♥ A Q 7 3 2 ♦ A K Q ♣ 7 2. You open one heart, and your partner bids one spade. What do you say?

Answer: Now that partner has responded, you must commit to game or at least try hard to reach game. A few players would jump to 2NT (strongly invitational) despite the club weakness. Some would settle for a bid of two diamonds, hoping partner would bid again. My choice would be a jump-shift to three diamonds, hoping to support the spades later.

North dealer

N-S vulnerable

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