Bridge: Jan. 9, 2021

“Simple Saturday” columns focus on improving technique and developing logical thinking.

A finesse is an attempt to win a trick with an intermediate card by playing it after one opponent has played. Finesses are necessary evils. Don’t be eager to rely on them.

At today’s 3NT, South may be tempted to finesse with dummy’s jack on the first heart; West might have led from Q-10-9-8. When East’s queen covers, South ducks, wins the next heart and leads a diamond. West takes the ace and leads another heart to set up his suit. South has only seven tricks. When he leads a club, West wins and takes two hearts. Down one.

NO RUSH

South must not rush to finesse in hearts; if West has the queen, he will have it later. South wins the first heart with the ace and forces out the ace of diamonds. When West then leads a second heart, South finesses.

The difference is that although East wins, he has no more hearts. South can win any return, lose a club to the ace and make an overtrick.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S Q 7 3 H 10 9 8 5 2 D A 4 C A 8 5. Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one heart and he raises to two hearts. What do you say?

ANSWER: Partner has a minimum opening bid — a hand worth a maximum of 15 points in support of hearts. He will often have four-card heart support but may have raised with three-card support and a suitable hand. Since your hand is worth about 11 points, game is possible. Bid three hearts and let partner judge.

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South dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

S K 6

H K J 3

D Q 10 9 5

C Q 10 9 4

WEST

S Q 7 3

H 10 9 8 5 2

D A 4

C A 8 5

EAST

S 10 9 8 4 2

H Q 6

D 7 6 3

C 7 6 2

SOUTH

S A J 5

H A 7 4

D K J 8 2

C K J 3

South West North East
1 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass

Opening lead — H 10

(C)2020 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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