FRANK STEWART BRIDGE
“Simple Saturday” columns are meant to help aspiring players improve technique and develop logical thinking.
A common theme in dummy play is combining various chances for your contract. You can complain about your luck only if you try everything and nothing works. In today’s deal, North roars into six diamonds despite South’s lack of encouragement. West leads a heart, and East wins and leads a trump.
South counts 10 winners: five trumps in dummy, a potential ruff in his hand, two spades, a club and a heart. He can get two more by winning a finesse in a black suit. If declarer picks a finesse, he will succeed 50 percent of the time. For a better chance, he takes the A-K of diamonds and then the A-K of spades. When the queen falls from East, South draws trumps and claims.
If no queen of spades appeared, South would lead a trump to his hand and let the queen of clubs ride. If West had the king, South could pitch his last spade on the third club and ruff a spade in his hand for a 12th trick.
You hold: ♠ Q 2 ♥ A Q J 10 9 4 ♦ 5 ♣ K 8 5 3. You open one heart, your partner responds two diamonds, you rebid two hearts and he tries three diamonds. What do you say? Answer: Your partner has six or seven diamonds but minimum values for a twoover-one response. (Even in a game-forcing two-over-one style, most pairs treat this sequence as not forcing.) Don’t fight the misfit. Pass. Partner’s hand may win tricks only if diamonds are trumps.
South dealer Both sides vulnerable