The Norwalk Hour - - ADVICE/GAMES - Frank Ste­wart

My “Sim­ple Satur­day” col­umns fo­cus on im­prov­ing ba­sic tech­nique and de­vel­op­ing log­i­cal think­ing.

All op­po­nents are not cre­ated equal. When you are de­clarer, one op­po­nent may be “dan­ger­ous”: You don’t want him in the lead. The other will be “safe”: If he gets in, you don’t mind.

In to­day’s deal, West leads a di­a­mond against your 3NT. East is “dan­ger­ous.” If he wins a trick and leads a spade through your K-J, ter­ri­ble things may hap­pen.

You don’t need a sec­ond di­a­mond trick, with a fi­nesse, to make game: You have at least three hearts and at least five clubs.

Take the ace of di­a­monds and let the ten of clubs ride. A first-round fi­nesse loses if West has a sin­gle­ton queen but gains if he has any low sin­gle­ton. You suc­ceed eas­ily as the cards lie.

You would go down if you fi­nessed in di­a­monds at Trick One. East wins and shifts to a spade, and the de­fense takes five spades. You would also go down if you mis­man­aged the clubs by tak­ing the ace be­fore fi­ness­ing.

DAILY QUES­TION You hold: SKJHK 53 D 64 CA K J 963. Your part­ner opens one spade, you re­spond two clubs and he bids two di­a­monds. What do you say?

AN­SWER: This prob­lem is dif­fi­cult. If part­ner holds a per­fect min­i­mum hand such as A Q 1076,76, A 7 52, Q4, a win­ning con­tract will be six clubs, or 6NT played from your side. A re­bid of three clubs would not be forc­ing. Stall with a “fourth-suit” bid of two hearts, hop­ing for more in­for­ma­tion from part­ner.

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