Home News May 25, 2024 – The Mercury News

May 25, 2024 – The Mercury News

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

If you held today’s miserabIe West hand (a “Yarborough,” with no honors), could you maintain a “bridge face” and not betray disgust or boredom?

North-South got to six hearts after East had overcalled in diamonds. West led a diamond, and East took the ace and returned the queen. Declarer played low, ruffed in dummy, drew trumps and saw that he could win 12 tricks by winning a finesse in either black suit.

OVERCALL

South figured that East had the king of clubs for his two-level overcall, but West might have the queen of spades. And since West didn’t seem to have lost interest in the proceedings, South let the jack of spades ride. Down one.

South relied on his “table presence” — nothing wrong with that — but he missed the best technical play: He cashes the A-K of spades. If the queen didn’t fall, South would return a trump to his hand and finesse in clubs. He gets two chances instead of one.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S A K 10 8 H J 9 8 6 2 D 8 C A J 10. You open one heart, your partner responds one spade, you raise to two spades and he next bids three diamonds. What do you say?

ANSWER: Partner’s three diamonds is a try for game (at least). He asks you to bid game with any maximum raise or with a decent raise that has help for diamonds. Your hand was almost worth a jump to three spades at your second turn, hence you must jump to four spades now.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

S A K 10 8

H J 9 8 6 2

D 8

C A J 10

WEST

S 7 6 4 3

H 7 4

D 7 2

C 7 6 4 3 2

EAST

S Q 2

H 5 3

D A Q J 10 9 4

C K 8 5

SOUTH

S J 9 5

H A K Q 10

D K 6 5 3

C Q 9

South West North East
1 NT Pass 2 C 2 D
2 H Pass 6 H All Pass
Opening lead — D 7

©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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