Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - By Frank Ste­wart

Sim­ple Satur­day columns fo­cus on tech­nique and log­i­cal think­ing.

As de­clarer or a de­fender, you may have to make a wish. Un­less the cards lie a spe­cific way, you will have no chance to make or beat a con­tract, so you will as­sume they lie just so.

To­day’s North-South reach 3NT af­ter East over­calls in spades. West leads the eight of spades: a high spot to deny strength in the suit. East takes the ace, and South plays low. How will East con­tinue?

East knows that South, who bid no-trump, has the king of spades. Dummy’s di­a­monds will pro­duce six tricks even if South lacks the queen, and the A-K of clubs will win two more. If East con­tin­ues spades, South will make 3NT. In­stead, East must as­sume that West has the king of hearts. East leads the ace, queen and a third heart, and South goes down.

My friend Ed­die Kan­tar says he used this deal in a 20ta­ble in­ter­me­di­ate class. Not one East found the cor­rect de­fense. Did you?

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ J3 ♥ J4 ♦ AKJ1092 ♣ AK4. You open one di­a­mond, your partner bids one spade, you jump to three di­a­monds and he re­bids three spades. What do you say? An­swer: Your three di­a­monds promised 15 to 17 high-card points with six good di­a­monds. Partner’s three spades are forc­ing. If he had a weak hand, he could pass: Your three di­a­monds sug­gested a strong suit, so he wouldn’t need to re­bid his own suit. You should raise to four spades.

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