Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - By Frank Ste­wart 2017, Tri­bune Me­dia Ser­vices

“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

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