Chicago Sun-Times - - WEATHER - BY FRANK STE­WART

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

At a notrump con­tract, de­clarer usu­ally has more of the high cards, so the de­fend­ers of­ten plug away at a long suit. But es­tab­lish­ing long cards won’t help if the de­fender who has them can’t gain the lead.

In to­day’s deal, East’s over­call of one heart is risky but helps the de­fense against 3NT by sug­gest­ing the best open­ing lead. West leads the seven of hearts, and dummy plays low.

Say East takes his king and re­turns a heart. South wins and leads a club. If East wins, he can lead a third heart to set up his suit but has no en­try. If West wins, he has no more hearts. South winds up mak­ing an over­trick.

On the first heart, East must sig­nal with the eight. South’s bid of 2NT prom­ises a heart trick, so East will lose noth­ing by duck­ing to keep com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Then, when South wins and leads a club, West can dash up with his king to lead his last heart, and South will take only eight tricks.

Daily ques­tion

You hold: ♠ Q62 ♥ K10863 ♦ 84 ♣ A 7 5. Your part­ner opens one di­a­mond, you re­spond one heart and he bids two clubs. What do you say?

An­swer: To make the cor­rect bid here takes dis­ci­pline. To try 2NT is tempting, but the hand is a bit too weak. To re­bid the five-card heart suit would show longer or at least much stronger hearts. Bid two di­a­monds. Your part­ner should have at least five di­a­monds, so the con­tract will be playable if he passes. North dealer

N-S vul­ner­a­ble

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