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

A principle of dummy play: Address the contract you reach, not one you wish you’d reached.

When today’s South saw dummy at four hearts, he would rather have been at six hearts. He won the first club with the ace, drew trumps and led another club. When West discarded, South couldn’t make even four hearts. He took the K-Q of clubs and led a diamond to his king, but the defense got three diamonds and a spade.


Six hearts would have been a good contract, but the hardest slams to bid are those with two good suits, controls in the other two suits but minimum high-card strength.

At four hearts, South must allow for a 4-1 club break, especially after the opening lead. South takes only the A-J of trumps, then leads a second club. If West ruffs, he can only cash his ace of diamonds. If he discards, declarer wins, ruffs a club high, draws trumps with the queen and runs the clubs. Making five.


You hold: S K 9 6 4 H 9 7 2 D A 10 8 5 3 C 6. Your partner opens one spade. The next player passes. What do you say?

ANSWER: This is my idea of a “limit raise” to three spades to invite game: good trump support, a shapely hand and a possible source of tricks in a side suit. Many players would bid three spades with K964,972,AKJ5,64, but in my opinion, that hand, with concentrated side-suit values, would call for an old-fashioned response of two diamonds.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S 10 5

H Q 8 3

D 6 4

C A K Q 8 7 4


S K 9 6 4

H 9 7 2

D A 10 8 5 3

C 6


S Q J 8 2

H 5 4

D Q J 9

C J 10 5 2


S A 7 3

H A K J 10 6

D K 7 2

C 9 3

South West North East
1 H Pass 2 C Pass
2 H Pass 4 H All Pass
Opening lead — C 6

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