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

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

When you are de­clarer and see dummy, it’s a pro­pi­tious time. You haven’t goofed up the con­tract yet; you have a chance to play it well. You need a plan. Count your sure win­ners. If you’re short, con­sider how to de­velop more.

At four spades, South took the ace of di­a­monds, ruffed a di­a­mond in dummy and let the queen of clubs ride. Alas, West took the king and led a trump, stop­ping an­other di­a­mond ruff and killing dummy’s en­try. South drew trumps but even­tu­ally lost two hearts to East plus a di­a­mond.

South lost a cold game be­cause he had no plan. He can count six trump tricks, a club, a di­a­mond and two di­a­mond ruffs in dummy. Af­ter he ruffs a di­a­mond at Trick Two, he must lead a club to his ace and ruff his last di­a­mond.

Later, South can draw trumps and still try for an over­trick by lead­ing to the king of hearts. In any case, the con­tract is safe.

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & 652 h A Q9 ( K982 $ 10 8 7. The dealer, at your left, opens one di­a­mond. Your part­ner doubles, you re­spond 1NT and he bids two spades.

An­swer: If part­ner had a spade suit and a hand worth a min­i­mum open­ing bid, he would have over­called one spade. By dou­bling be­fore bid­ding his suit, he prom­ises ex­tra strength. Since your 1NT re­sponse was sound, move to­ward game. Raise to three spades or bid 2NT or 3NT. Don’t pass.

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