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

The Denver Post - - FEATURES -

Learn­ing play­ers are as­saulted with “rules” of de­fen­sive play, many of which have a log­i­cal ba­sis. But no­body can play bridge through blind ad­her­ence to rules.

In to­day’s deal, dummy plays low on the first spade, and East takes the king and may have heard the ad­mo­ni­tion about re­turn­ing part­ner’s lead: Not to do so is trea­sonous. But if East re­turns a spade, South wins, forces out the ace of di­a­monds and ends with nine tricks or more.

Be­fore re­turn­ing part­ner’s lead, East should con­sider. West’s jack of spades marks South with the queen, so he has two spade stop­pers. East can’t beat 3NT with a spade re­turn: The deck has too few points for West to have two en­tries.

But South’s 1NT de­nied four cards in hearts, so East can shift to a low heart. South wins, but if West has an en­try, he will get in to lead an­other heart, giv­ing the de­fense five tricks.

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & A52 h K J 2 ( KQ1096 $ K Q. You open one di­a­mond, your part­ner re­sponds one spade, you jump to 2NT and he bids three di­a­monds. What do you say?

An­swer: Part­ner’s bid is forc­ing. (Un­less you have spe­cial­ized agree­ments, any bid by him over your 2NT is game­forc­ing.) For the mo­ment, your duty is to bid three spades, show­ing your three­card sup­port for his suit. If he doesn’t wish to play at spades, he can re­turn to 3NT or di­a­monds.

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