The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY)

Daily Bridge Club Stocking stuffers


Baron Barclay, the world’s largest source of bridge books and products, published two of my recent books. In “Play Bridge With Me,” you sit beside me in 90 deals. In “Keys to Winning Bridge,” I focus on the factors that really determine how well you do.

A vital defensive skill is distinguis­hing “active defense” (grabbing tricks in a hurry) from “passive” (waiting patiently). In today’s deal from “Keys,” South takes the ace of hearts and starts the trumps. West wins and tries to cash a heart, and South ruffs, draws trumps and lets the queen of diamonds ride.


When West wins, he may feel like taking his ace of clubs; dummy’s diamonds threaten to provide discards. But West can count South’s tricks: four spades, four diamonds and a heart.

South can’t succeed without a club trick, so West should exit with a diamond. South must lead clubs himself and lose two more tricks.

Baron-Barclay has all books in print plus gift items for bridge players. See baronbarcl­

You hold: A 8 K Q 973 K 107 A 95. You are the dealer. West in today’s deal opened one heart.

Do you agree with that call?

Whether to open 1NT with, or despite, a five-card major suit is a matter of contention. Experts decide case by case, but I believe most would open 1NT here, suggesting the hand’s strength and approximat­e shape in one bid. If you open one heart and hear a one-spade response, you will have no good second bid.

West dealer

Both sides vulnerable

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