Bridge: Nov. 9, 2019

“Simple Saturday” columns are meant to help improve technique and develop logical thinking.

The best part of any expert’s game is a sound grasp of fundamentals. He never, and I mean never, makes elementary errors.

At today’s four spades, South takes the ace of hearts and counts four possible losers: a heart, a diamond and two clubs. He could try for a second club winner (leading low from dummy to his nine would be the best chance), but setting up the diamonds with ruffs — a basic skill — is better.

ENTRIES

In case of a 4-2 diamond break, South needs three dummy entries: two to ruff diamonds, one to cash the good diamond. To preserve his entries, South doesn’t draw trumps; he ducks a diamond at Trick Two. South wins East’s club shift and proceeds thus: diamond to the ace, diamond ruff high, K-A of trumps, diamond ruff, draw trumps with the queen, good diamond to pitch a club.

A capable declarer will make four spades in less time than it takes me to tell you about it.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S A Q 7 H 7 5 D A J 6 4 2 C 8 5 2. Your partner opens one heart, you respond two diamonds, he rebids two hearts and you try 2NT. Partner then bids three diamonds. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your partner’s bidding suggests minimum opening values and no desire to play at notrump with unbalanced distribution. Pass. If he has a hand such as 4, A Q 8 6 4, Q 9 5, A 7 6 3, any higher contract will be at risk, and even nine tricks at diamonds will not be certain.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

S A Q 7

H 7 5

D A J 6 4 2

C 8 5 2

WEST

S 6

H K Q 10 9 4 3 2

D Q 3

C K 10 7

EAST

S 8 5 4

H 8 6

D K 10 9 7

C Q 6 4 3

SOUTH

S K J 10 9 3 2

H A J

D 8 5

C A J 9

South West North East

1 S 2 H 3 S Pass

4 S All Pass

Opening lead — H K

(C)2019 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment

      

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