Bridge: Nov. 21, 2020

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

An elephant bite may hurt, but a mosquito bite can be just as dangerous. Little things — how declarer manipulates the low-ranking cards — can decide the fate of a contract.

At today’s 3NT, South wins the first spade with his ace and counts eight probable tricks: two spades, two clubs and (assuming a normal 3-2 break) four diamonds. He needs a heart trick. South leads a heart at Trick Two: five, queen, ace. East returns a spade, and South wins and takes the ace and queen of diamonds. He next leads … what card?


South needs two dummy entries: one to set up a heart trick, another to cash it. He must lead the eight of diamonds to the king.

South then leads the jack of hearts. West wins and takes two spade tricks, but South can win the club shift, reach dummy by leading his four of diamonds to the six, and take the high heart for his ninth trick.


You hold: S A K 5 4 H 2 D A Q 8 4 C A K 4 3. With only your side vulnerable, the dealer, at your right, opens three spades. What do you say?

ANSWER: This problem is perplexing. If your opponent had opened three hearts, you would have an easy double, but his three spades is unexpected. You can surely defeat three spades, but the penalty at 50 points per trick won’t compensate for a missed game. I believe most experts would bid 3NT and hope for the best.

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South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S 10 7

H Q J 10 4

D K 6 3 2

C 7 6 5


S J 8 6 2

H K 8 6 5

D J 9 7

C J 2


S Q 9 3

H A 9 7 3

D 10 5

C Q 10 9 8


S A K 5 4

H 2

D A Q 8 4

C A K 4 3

South West North East
1 D Pass 1 H Pass
2 S Pass 3 D Pass
3 NT All Pass

Opening lead — S 2

(C)2020 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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