Daily Bridge Club
“Simple Saturday” columns are meant to help aspiring players improve technique and develop logical thinking.
Learning players must absorb an array of rules. Defenders are taught to “cover an honor with an honor.” Such “rules” have logical exceptions.
Today’s North properly raises South’s 1NT to 3NT; the nine-trick game will succeed more often than five clubs. South wins the first heart with his king. He must set up the clubs but lacks the dummy entries to finesse with his jack. So South takes the king and leads the jack.
If West covers an honor with his queen, South takes the ace and leads the nine, losing to the ten. He then has five club tricks, two hearts and two spades.
Cover an honor to promote lower cards in your hand or partner’s hand. Since that is unproductive here, West must duck the jack of clubs. South will pass the jack, but when East discards, South gets only three club tricks. The defense will have time to set up the hearts to beat the game.
You hold: A K 7 K 9 3 Q 10 7 4 2 K J. Neither side vulnerable. The dealer, at your right, opens one club. What do you say?
ANSWER: Plenty of rules exist for the bidding, but many situations require you to use your judgment. I believe most experts would double one club for takeout as the best action here. A few would overcall one diamond, getting the five-card suit mentioned. Others would try 1NT, showing the same type of hand as a 1NT opening. South dealer Both sides vulnerable