Daily Bridge Club

Sim­ple Satur­day

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - CLASSIFIED - By FRANK STE­WART

“Sim­ple Satur­day” col­umns are meant to help as­pir­ing play­ers im­prove tech­nique and de­velop log­i­cal think­ing.

De­clarer may need to com­bine ba­sic tech­niques of play. Against to­day’s 3NT, West, who opened one spade, leads the queen of spades. Should de­clarer win or duck?

If de­clarer thought he would lose an early trick to East, he might take the king and hope for the best. But de­clarer can pre­vent East from get­ting in, hence he should let the queen of spades win — a “hold-up play.”


Sup­pose West con­tin­ues with the ace and jack. Then South can’t let West get in, so he takes the king of di­a­monds and leads to dummy’s jack. East wins but has no more spades, and South has the rest.

Now say that West ex­its with a club at Trick Two. Then South can’t let East get in; a spade re­turn through the king will be fa­tal. So South at­tacks the di­a­monds by let­ting the jack ride — an “avoid­ance play.” He makes an over­trick, but his game would be safe even if West had the queen.


You hold: K 3 2 A 8 4 2 K 8 7 10 6 4. Your part­ner opens one di­a­mond, you re­spond one heart and he bids one spade. The op­po­nents pass. What do you say?

AN­SWER: This prob­lem lacks a so­lu­tion. You have three use­ful hon­ors but no at­trac­tive bid to en­cour­age part­ner. I would bid two di­a­monds, hop­ing to hear more from him. I could ac­cept a bid of 1NT (de­spite the weak clubs) or a raise to two spades (de­spite the lack of a fourth trump). East dealer N-S vul­ner­a­ble

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