LIFE & CULTURE
“Simple Saturday” columns are meant to help aspiring players improve technique and develop logical thinking.
As declarer at notrump, begin your planning by counting sure winners. Then consider how to set up additional ones. But getting winners may mean conceding losers. To develop seven winners at 1NT won’t help if you lose seven tricks in the process.
Today’s declarer took the king of hearts and started on his long suit: He led the ace and a low club, won the next heart and lost another club. South then had seven tricks — three clubs plus the A-K of both red suits — but the defense got two clubs, three hearts and the A-K of spades.
Simple math should tell South that his plan will fail. To give himself a chance, he must lead a spade at Trick Two, playing dummy’s ten if West ducks.
As the cards lie, East takes the ace and returns a heart, and South wins and leads a second spade. He has two spade tricks, two hearts, two diamonds and the ace of clubs.
You hold: 832 A K ( K54 $ A 10 6 3 2. The dealer, at your right, opens one club. What do you say?
Answer: “He stole my bid!” This will happen quite often: An opponent has enough strength to act plus length in your long suit. Pass. You cannot double or overcall 1NT. View such situations as opportunities. The opponents may get too high, and since you have the opening bidder’s suit sewn up, you may be able to double for a juicy penalty. by Dana Summers