My “Simple Saturday” columns treat basic technique and logical thinking.
In a computer-era cartoon, Ali Baba has tried “open sesame,” “OPEN SESAME” and “Open $e$ame,” but a voice within the thieves’ den keeps telling him his password is incorrect.
Gaining entry to dummy can be a problem for declarer. At today’s 3NT, East wins the first heart with the king and returns a heart, and South wins and counts eight top tricks. He has chances for one more. His fourth club will be a winner if clubs break 3-3, but that is not likely.
South should try for a third diamond trick. He can handle a 4-1 break in that suit but must be careful to preserve a dummy entry.
At Trick Three, dummy leads a low diamond. East wins and leads another heart, and South wins and ducks a diamond. Then West can cash the 13th heart, but South wins the next trick and leads his last diamond to take the A-K and the fifth diamond. If he fails to preserve a link with dummy, he falls short of his goal.
You hold: S J 7 H A J 6 D A K 5 3 2 C 6 4 3. You open one diamond, and your partner responds one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?
ANSWER: Don’t repeat the diamonds. To rebid a five-card suit is permissible but not desirable, especially here. Bid 1NT to show a balanced, minimum opening bid. If partner had responded one heart, your best second bid would be a raise to two hearts even though you would prefer to have four-card support.
S J 7
H A J 6
D A K 5 3 2
C 6 4 3
S 8 5 2
H 10 7 4 3
D Q J 9 8
C J 8
S Q 10 9 6 3
H K 9 2
C Q 10 9 7
S A K 4
H Q 8 5
D 7 6 4
C A K 5 2
North East South West
1 D Pass 3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — H 3
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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment