“Sim­ple Satur­day” columns are meant to help aspir­ing play­ers im­prove ba­sic tech­nique and de­velop log­i­cal think­ing.

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Frank Stewart

The best part of an expert’s game is solid fun­da­men­tals. Be­com­ing pro­fi­cient means study­ing the tech­niques of dummy play.

At to­day’s slam, South takes the ace of clubs, draws trumps and must dis­pose of his club loser. If he fi­nesses in spades next, he goes down. If he takes the A-K of di­a­monds and ruffs a di­a­mond, West dis­cards. Then South must fi­nesse in spades, and he goes down.

A ba­sic and ver­sa­tile play tech­nique is the loser-on-loser. After South draws trumps, he takes the top di­a­monds and leads dummy’s jack, pitch­ing his re­main­ing club if East doesn’t cover. If West had the queen, South could win his spade shift and dis­card his last two spades on the good di­a­monds. As it is, West dis­cards, and South can try the spade fi­nesse for an over­trick.

Fail­ure to spot a loser-on-loser play is a com­mon error among learn­ing play­ers. Study up on it.

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & AQ103h 64 ( KJ1096 $ 7 4. Your part­ner opens one heart. Do you re­spond one spade or two di­a­monds?

An­swer: Though you have enough points to show a new suit at the two level, to bid one spade is cor­rect. Since you have the val­ues for only one for­ward-go­ing bid, look for a fit in the ma­jor. With A Q103,A4,KJ1096,74—enough­stuff for sev­eral bids — re­spond two di­a­monds, plan­ning to bid two spades if part­ner re­bids two hearts. by Dana Sum­mers

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