Bridge: Nov. 14, 2020

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

When today’s North opened two clubs, South wanted two of the top three honors for a positive response of two spades. He tried to suggest his hand type by jumping in spades next, and North raised gently to seven.

The grand slam was simple enough, but simple-looking contracts are the ones that need care — and the first trick is a good time to get careless. When West led a club, South let the lead ride to his jack! He cashed the A-K of trumps and then had to get back to his hand to draw the missing trumps. He led the A-K of diamonds, planning to ruff the next round, but West ruffed.


“Bad luck,” South sighed.

“You had 13 tricks,” growled North. “How about taking them.”

Maybe South thought his contract was eight spades. He must win the first club with the ace, take dummy’s top trumps, come to the king of clubs and draw trumps. He has six trump tricks, four diamonds, two clubs and one heart.


You hold: S 6 H K 10 D 10 9 5 4 3 2 C 9 8 4 2. Your partner opens 1NT. The next player passes. What do you say?

ANSWER: Almost surely you should want to play at diamonds at the lowest possible level. In most partnerships, a response of two diamonds would be conventional: a “transfer” or a Stayman variation. Depending on your partnership agreement, you might jump directly to three diamonds to sign off or employ some conventional method.

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North dealer

N-S vulnerable



H A Q 9 6 5


C A 6


S 8 7 4 3

H J 8 4 2

D 7

C Q 10 7 3


S 6

H K 10

D 10 9 5 4 3 2

C 9 8 4 2


S Q J 10 9 5 2

H 7 3

D 8 6

C K J 5

North East South West
2 C Pass 2 D Pass
2 H Pass 3 S Pass
7 S All Pass

Opening lead — C 3

(C)2020 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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