“Simple Saturday” columns are meant to help aspiring players improve technique and develop logical thinking.
You’re today’s East, defending against four spades. On the bidding, South clearly has a bundle of major-suit cards. He bid game all by himself — and after West showed strength.
South ruffs West’s king of diamonds, takes the A-K of hearts and ruffs a heart with dummy’s queen of trumps. West has followed with the deuce, ten and queen. How do you defend?
You can overruff, but here’s a defensive principle: It is seldom right to overruff with a winner you’ll always get. If you overruff and lead another diamond, declarer will ruff and lead the jack of trumps to West’s ace. When declarer gets back in, he will draw the missing trumps and lose one club, making four.
If you discard on the third heart, South will lead dummy’s three of trumps next: five, jack, ace. Then your K-8 will be worth two tricks, and your ace of clubs will win the setting trick.
Daily Question: You hold: & K85 h 8 4 ( 8754 $ A 8 5 2. Your partner opens one heart, you respond 1NT and he bids two spades. What do you say?
Answer: Partner’s “reverse” suggests substantial extra values. His second bid is not only forcing, it promises that he will bid again. You have no good action. A bid of 2NT would be acceptable, but you have no diamond strength. If your spades were K-Q-5, a raise to three spades might be best. I would choose a return to three hearts.