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.