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-Kand the fifth diamond. If he fails to preserve a link with dummy, he falls short of his goal.
You hold: ♠ J7 ♥ AJ6 ♦ AK532 ♣ 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.