Cy the Cynic says that if life doesn’t also give you some sugar and ice water, the lemonade you make will taste pretty terrible.
Cy expects the worst and is seldom disappointed. When he played at 3NT, West led a heart: four, nine, ten. Cy next led a spade to dummy’s king, and East won and returned a heart: queen, king.
The Cynic won the third heart and took the Q-J of spades, but life dealt him lemons: West discarded. The Cynic then led a club — he had only eight tricks — but West produced the ace and two good hearts. Down one.
After Cy led a spade at the second trick, it was too late to make lemonade. He must instead lead a diamond to dummy and return a low club through East. If East had the ace and took it, Cy would have nine tricks. If East played low, Cy would win and force out the ace of spades for nine tricks.
When West has the ace of clubs, he can win Trick Three but can’t return a heart effectively. Cy will have ample time to set up at least nine winners.
You hold: S 8 4 H K J 8 5 3 D 7 4 C A 10 9 8. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he bids one spade. What do you say?
Answer: To bid two clubs would be an error; a forcing bid in a new suit would imply more strength. To rebid two hearts on a ragged five-card suit would be worse. Still, you cannot abandon partner at one spade; game is still possible. Bid 1NT, showing seven to 10 points, balanced, probably with something in clubs.