While bad luck flogs Unlucky Louie unmercifully, good luck rests on the player we call Harlow the Halo as gently as a feather pillow. Harlow's key finesses never lose, his suits always break well and, most infuriating, his errors cost nothing.
"Look at this," Louie said to me. He had been South in a team match, with Harlow as South at the other table.
"What happened at the other table?" I asked.
"The Halo drew trumps and led a heart to the king. He didn't bother to find out how the East-West cards lay. With his luck, he didn't need to."
I sympathized with Louie. if the position of the missing aces had been swapped, as they might have been, he would have made four spades, and Harlow would have failed.
You hold: S A Q J 9 7 3 H 8 4 D 9 C K Q 8 5. You open one spade, and your partner bids two spades. The opponents pass. What do you say?
ANSWER: One school of thought advocates bidding four spades after a single raise with almost any hand containing a six-card suit. That may be too dogmatic. Still, if partner has an average raise such as K 6 5 2, 7 6, 8 7 6 5, A 3 2, you can take 10 tricks. Your hand is certainly worth a try. Bid three spades or three clubs.
Both sides vulnerable
S K 10 8 5
H K J 6
D 6 5 4 3
C 7 4
S 6 2