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Bridge: May 19, 2018

Tribune Content Agency
“Simple Saturday” columns focus on improving basic technique and developing logical thinking.
You’re declarer at today’s notrump slam. North’s jump-shift to two diamonds showed slam interest, and when your 2NT bid suggested balanced pattern, he raised to 6NT. West leads the ten of hearts, and you count your winners: three hearts, five diamonds and two clubs. You need two more tricks, and a finesse is available in each black suit.
Should you attack clubs or spades?
Say you win the first heart in dummy, take the king of clubs and finesse with the jack. Even if that finesse wins, your contract is not assured. You will still need a 3-3 break, or if East has four clubs, you may need him to hold the queen of spades but not the ace.
It’s better to finesse in spades. If East has the queen, you have your 12 tricks. And you have an additional chance: If West takes the queen, he may not return a spade. Then you will be able to try your luck in clubs.
You hold: S J 9 3 H A K 4 D A K J 10 3 C K 2. You open one diamond, your partner responds one spade, you jump to 2NT and he bids 4NT. What do you say?
ANSWER: Partner’s 4NT is not the Blackwood convention but a “quantitative” raise to invite slam. You have a maximum for your bidding (some players would have opened 2NT), so you can accept. To give partner an option, jump to six diamonds. He can return to notrump if he wishes, but he may hold A K 7 6, 3 2, Q 9 7, A 7 6 5.
South dealer
N-S vulnerable
S J 9 3
H A K 4
D A K J 10 3
C K 2
S A 8 6 2
H 10 9 8 2
D 6 4 2
C Q 7
S Q 7 4
H 7 6 5
D 9 8 7
C 10 9 8 6
S K 10 5
H Q J 3
D Q 5
C A J 5 4 3
South West North East
1 C Pass 2 D Pass
2 NT Pass 6 NT All Pass
Opening lead — H 10
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BC-stewart-bridge 05/19 TCA

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