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

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

A ca­pa­ble de­clarer counts sure tricks, then looks for ways to de­velop ad­di­tional tricks he needs. He must often at­tack more than one suit. At to­day’s 3NT, the cor­rect play is a mat­ter of “last things first.”

South wins the first heart with the king, pre­serv­ing an en­try to dummy. If the clubs — South’s best suit — pro­duce five tricks, South is safe since he can get at least two more in spades. But if East has a club trick, South must win the spade fi­nesse.

South should lead his K-Q of clubs. If West fol­lowed, South would be safe. But when West dis­cards on the sec­ond club, South must not set up the clubs di­rectly; he should over­take with dummy’s ace to fi­nesse in spades.

When South’s queen wins, he leads his last club to force out East’s jack. South can win the heart re­turn in dummy, take the good clubs and re­peat the spade fi­nesse for nine tricks.

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & AQJ hK 542 ( 832 $ K Q 3. You open one club, and your part­ner bids two clubs. The op­po­nents pass. What do you say?

An­swer: You had to open one club — a “pre­pared bid” — be­cause your only “long” suit was a weak four-card ma­jor. Your part­ner’s raise is un­wel­come, but he should al­low for you to have poor clubs and would not have raised with­out four or often five trumps. Pass and hope for the best. Game is im­pos­si­ble.

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