April 30, 2022 – The Mercury News

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

If your opponents bid and play perfectly, you can’t win; all you can achieve is a tie. But bridge is a game of error, and capitalizing on opponents’ errors is part of it.

Today’s North-South reached a shaky 3NT when six diamonds would have had a good chance. South, a passed hand, thought it best to respond 2NT instead of one spade. If North had correctly tried three clubs next, South would have bid three diamonds, and they would have avoided notrump.


West led the four of spades: ace, six, three. South came to his hand and let the ten of diamonds ride. When East won, he led the king and jack of spades, but West couldn’t gain by overtaking with the queen. South took the rest.

North-South survived their bidding because East erred. He must unblock his jack of spades on dummy’s ace. When he takes the king of diamonds, he leads the king and a third spade, and West runs the spades for down one.


You hold: SAHKQJDAQJ 8 7 CJ 7 6 2. You deal and open one diamond, and your partner bids one spade. What do you say?

ANSWER: You have 18 high-card points, but partner’s response at the one level promises no more than six. Hence, you cannot jump-shift to three clubs, forcing to game. Bid two clubs, hoping he will bid again if you can make a game. (Some experts might try a jump to 2NT.) If his response his had been one heart, you might bid more aggressively.

South dealer

NS vulnerable




DAQJ 8 7

CJ 7 6 2


SQ 9 5 4 2

H 7 6 3 2

D 5 2

C 8 3



H 8 5 4

DK 6 3

CQ 10 9 4


S 10 8 7 3

HA 10 9

D 10 9 4


South West North East
Pass Pass 1 D Pass
2 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass

Opening lead — S 4

(C)2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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