BRIDGE

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - By Frank Ste­wart

My “Sim­ple Satur­day” col­umns fo­cus on ba­sic tech­nique and 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 10 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.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ KJ ♥ K53 ♦ 64 ♣ AKJ963.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 AQ1076, 76, A752, 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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