Daily Bridge Club
“Simple Saturday” columns are meant to help improve basic technique and develop logical thinking.
Axiom: It takes four defensive tricks to beat a major-suit game. Today’s West led his singleton club against four hearts. East took the ace and, diagnosing the lead, returned a club. West ruffed but had no winning lead. He tried a diamond, hoping East had an honor, but South took the queen and led a trump. East won and led another club, but South ruffed high and won the rest.
East must count defensive tricks. He sees a club, a ruff and the ace of trumps, but the defense will almost surely need a diamond.
If West has the ace, no worries. But if he has the king, a diamond lead must come from East — quickly, before South can draw trumps and use the clubs.
East must lead a diamond at Trick Two. Since he has the ace of trumps, West’s ruff can wait. East doesn’t know that West has the king of diamonds, but East must so assume. Otherwise, his play is moot.
You hold: Q9632 A7 64 A 6 4 3. Your partner opens one heart, you bid one spade, he jumps to three diamonds and you try 3NT.
Partner then bids four spades. What do you say?
ANSWER: Partner’s jump-shift forced to game. He has a huge hand with four-card or strong three-card spade support. Since you have a fair five-card suit and two side aces, and your ace of clubs is ideal opposite partner’s shortness, bid six spades or cue-bid five clubs. South dealer N-S vulnerable