“Simple Saturday” columns help aspiring players improve technique and develop logical thinking.
A vital skill of a good defender is the ability to distinguish between times when he must try for tricks in a hurry (“active” defense) and times when he can wait (“passive”).
North-South have a strong-sounding auction to game. Dummy will have spade support and a heart suit — and West’s four low hearts suggest it will be a strong suit. Declarer will surely have 10 or more winners, so East-West need four first.
The best chance for defensive tricks lies with the clubs, so West’s opening lead should be the deuce. Some players are reluctant to lead from a king; here, it’s dangerous not to lead from one.
East wins and returns a club, and West takes the jack and king. Since he can see no more side-suit tricks, he should lead the 13th club next. When East ruffs with the 10 of trumps, South must overruff with an honor, promoting West’s jack for down one. Question: You hold: ♠ Q4 2 ♥ AKJ104 ♦ A8 ♣ 753.You open one heart, and your partner bids one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say? Answer: Your options: rebid two hearts, bid 1NT or raise to two spades. Any are acceptable. A two-heart rebid should show a six-card suit, but to treat that chunky suit as a six-carder would be reasonable. My choice would be a raise to two spades. Auctions are easier when a trump suit is set early. South dealer N-S vulnerable