Baltimore Sun

DAILY QUESTION

- —Tribune Media Services

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

Today’s North-South would have been better off using “transfers” over 2NT. South would have responded four diamonds, and North would have been declarer at four hearts. With

South declarer, West led the queen of diamonds through dummy, and the defense took three diamonds.

East then led a trump.

Declarer drew trumps and tried a spade finesse with dummy’s queen.

Down one.

“I could have finessed in clubs,” South shrugged. “That wouldn’t have worked either.”

TWO CHANCES

South can give himself two chances. He takes the ace of clubs at Trick Five, ruffs a club, leads a trump to dummy and ruffs a club. When East’s king falls, dummy’s queen is a winner. If nothing good happened in clubs, South would finesse in spades.

Most partnershi­ps use transfers. They let the stronger hand be declarer, with the opening lead coming up to, not through, its strength. Moreover, transfers make many auctions easier.

You hold: KJ96 763 A98 K 6 4. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade and he bids two clubs. What do you say?

ANSWER: Jump to three hearts. Partner should treat this bid as invitation­al to game, not forcing. With K J 9 6, Q 6 3, A 9 8, K 6 4, you would bid four hearts. With J 9 6 2, 7 6 3, A 9 8, K 6 4, you would have raised his one heart directly to two. (If partner’s second bid had been 1NT, you could bid two hearts, showing 10 or 11 points.)

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