"How are your psychiatrist appointments going?" I asked Cy the Cynic.
"I quit," Cy shrugged. "Anyone who sees a couch coach needs to have his head examined."
"Weren't you getting anything out of your visits?"
"The man told me I had a persecution complex," Cy growled, "but he just said that because he hated me."
Cy was entitled to feel persecuted after today's deal. As East, he hammered 2NT, and when West led a heart, Cy took the A-K and led a third heart. South won and cashed six diamond tricks.
By the last diamond, Cy looked like a victim of the Inquisition. With room for four cards, he saved a heart, the ace of spades and the K-J of clubs. South then led a spade, and after Cy cashed his heart, he had to lead a club. South made an overtrick for 1,280 points.
No opening lead would stop nine tricks. The next time you're tempted to double with a fistful of high cards, beware. If declarer has a long suit to run, he'll put your hand through the wringer.
You hold: A Q J A K 10 9 5 3 4 K J 9. You open one heart, and your partner bids 1NT. The opponents pass. What do you say?
A: You must force to game since your partner needs only a couple of minor honors to give you a chance. He might hold 7 6 4, Q 2, Q 7 6 5, Q 10 6 5. Since your heart suit has good intermediates, a leap to four hearts may work. An alternative is a jump-shift to three clubs. If partner next bid 3NT or four clubs, you'd try four hearts.
Both sides vulnerable
K 9 3
A Q J 10 7 2
8 7 5 2
6 5 3
7 5 4 3
A Q J
A K 10 9 5 3
K J 9
10 6 4
Q 7 4
K 9 8
A 10 8 2
North East South West
1 Dbl1 NTPass
2 2 2 NTPass
Opening lead -- 8