Bridge: Aug. 19, 2023

Bridge: Aug. 19, 2023

“Simple Saturday” columns focus on improving basic technique and logical thinking.

Few people are willing to put all their eggs in one basket, even if they’re able to keep an eye on the basket. Declarers must be the same way; with several chances for your contract, try them all.

At today’s 3NT, South took the queen of diamonds and immediately let the jack of spades ride. Alas, East produced the king and returned a diamond, and West ran the suit. Down one.


South put all his eggs in one leaky basket. He can count seven sure tricks. If the missing clubs break 3-3 and the queen of hearts falls under the A-K, South will have nine tricks and won’t need the spade finesse.

South should lead to the queen of clubs at Trick Two, then take the A-K. When the suit breaks 3-3, he cashes the A-K of hearts next with a gratifying result. If the clubs failed to break, South would be in his hand to finesse in spades, hoping for three spades, three clubs, a diamond and two hearts.


You hold: S J 10 7 5 H A K 4 3 D Q 4 C A K 7. The dealer, at your right, opens one diamond. You double, and your partner responds (“advances”) one heart. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Recall that you asked partner to bid. He would have jumped to two hearts with about 10 points to invite game and may have bid one heart with none at all. Moreover, your queen of diamonds is probably a worthless card. Pass. You could bid two hearts with J1075,AK43,42,AKQ.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S A Q 2

H J 8 7

D J 9 8

C Q 6 5 2


S 9 8 6

H Q 9

D A K 7 6 2

C J 8 3


S K 4 3

H 10 6 5 2

D 10 5 3

C 10 9 4


S J 10 7 5

H A K 4 3

D Q 4

C A K 7

South West North East
1 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — D 6

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