Rules of Thumb


frs1016@centurylink.net

One good rule of thumb is to try not to hit it with a hammer. Another: When you’re a defender and declarer has a repeatable finesse, let his first try win.

At today’s 3NT, South won the first diamond with his ace and let the ♠9 ride. East took the jack and returned a diamond.

When South took his king, his situation looked desperate. If he led another spade, he would probably lose two more spades plus two diamonds. So South instead led the 9: seven, eight … six! He led another heart — jack, queen — and wound up with nine tricks: four hearts, two diamonds and three clubs.

Dlr: South ♠ Q 10 87 2
Vul: N-S A Q 10 8
7
♣ 6 4 2
♠ 6 5 4 ♠ A K J
K J 7 6 5 3 2
J 10 6 Q 9 8 4
♣ 10 8 7 3 ♣ J 9
♠ 9 3
9 4
A K 5 3 2
♣ A K Q 5
South West North East
1 Pass 1♠ Pass
2♣ Pass 2 Pass
3NT All Pass

Opening lead — J

Weak Defense

East’s defense was weak. East has the spades under control, but he can see that declarer will meet with great success if he gets discouraged with the spades and shifts to hearts. So East should win the first spade with the king or ace and return a diamond.

South will surely win and lead a second spade to dummy’s 10. Then the defense will have five winners.

Daily Question

You hold:
♠ 9 3
9 4
A K 5 3 2
♣ A K Q 5
Your partner opens 1♠, you respond 2, he rebids 2♠ and you try 3♣. Partner then bids 3. What do you say?

ANSWER
Your partner’s bidding is not too encouraging, but though slam may not be likely, it is possible. If he has a sound minimum such as
♠ A K 6 5 4
A 6 5
J 8 4
♣ J 4
6 will be a good contract. Cue-bid 4♣ and see if partner shows any signs of life.
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