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