Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - By Frank Ste­wart

“Sim­ple Saturday” col­umns help play­ers de­velop log­i­cal think­ing.

It’s in­vari­ably bet­ter to get to play last to a trick. Good tech­nique of­ten in­volves forc­ing an op­po­nent to play first: an “end play.”

In a match­point du­pli­cate event, South could have dou­bled West’s four di­a­monds. North would pass, and the re­sult would be down three. But South wasn’t will­ing to set­tle for an un­cer­tain penalty when a vul­ner­a­ble game was pos­si­ble: He tried his luck at four hearts.

When West led the king of di­a­monds, de­clarer took the ace and wanted two over­tricks. He drew trumps with the queen and king, led a spade to his queen, win­ning, and next took the A-K of clubs. South then ex­ited with a di­a­mond.

As South ex­pected, West had held an eight-card suit for his pre­empt and had only di­a­monds left to lead. So South ruffed in dummy and dis­carded his club loser. He then led an­other spade to his jack and claimed the rest.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ 5♥ 64 ♦ KQ987642 ♣ J 3. Nei­ther side vul­ner­a­ble. You deal and open four di­a­monds. The next player over­calls four spades, and your part­ner dou­bles. What do you say? An­swer: Your pre­emp­tive open­ing bid de­scribed your hand — long di­a­monds but lit­tle de­fen­sive strength — and your part­ner is in charge. Pass. He says he can beat four spades, and you must trust his judg­ment. To run to five di­a­monds would be a breach of dis­ci­pline.

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