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“Simple Saturday” columns are meant to help aspiring players improve technique and develop logical thinking.
As declarer at a suit contract, you often start by counting your losers. (That is best at the level of game or slam; unless your bidding is in disrepair, you won’t have many losers.) If you have one loser too many, look for a way to avoid it.
At five clubs, South sees three losers: a diamond, a possible trump and a spade. But he can set up a diamond trick in dummy to pitch a spade from his hand.
Declarer must time the play properly. Say he wins the opening lead in dummy to finesse in trumps. When West wins, he will lead another spade, setting up a spade trick before declarer has his discard. The result will be down one.
South should win the first spade in his hand and lead a diamond to the king and East’s ace. He wins the spade return in dummy and discards his last spade on the queen of diamonds. Only then will it be right for him to lead trumps.
You hold: ♠ K 5 3 ♥ A Q 2 ♦ 4 ♣ A Q 10 8 7 3. Your partner opens one spade, you bid two clubs and he rebids two spades. What do you say?
ANSWER: Slam is possible — even a grand slam — if partner has useful cards such as the ace of diamonds (not the K-Q), the king of clubs and good spades. To paint a picture of your hand, bid three hearts. If he bids 3NT next, go to four spades. You will show slam interest and diamond shortness. Let partner judge your prospects.
♠ A 6 2
♥ K 7 3
♦ K Q 3
♣ J 9 4 2
♠ Q J 10 4
♥ 10 8 4
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