Bridge: January 15, 2022

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

A blink may be the quickest way to get yourself in trouble, but pulling the trump too early can run a close second. In today’s deal, the South jumped to four hearts on its second turn, reasonably enough. (A bid of three hearts would only have invited bets.) West led the windows, and South won with dummies ace… and drew trump.

South then led a club, and the dummy’s king won. He then tried a spade for his king, but West took the ace and led another diamond. He put a diamond winner to the defense while still having the aces of the clubs, so South lost four stitches.


South failed because he pulled trump too early. He can lead a trump to his hand in Trick Two, but then a club. The West emerges and the King wins.

South can then pull the remaining trumps and lead another club. West wins, but South can win diamond return and discard its losing diamond on the queen of clubs to secure the contract.


You have: S 10 6 5 2 H 7 3 DAK 5 CKQ 6 2. The dealer, to your left, opens three hearts. Your partner doubles and the next player passes. What do you say?

ANSWER: This is a delicate situation. Partner must have a hand worth at least 17 points, plus support for the uninvited colors so you have a game somewhere. You can jump to four spades, but if he has doubled with only three cards in spades, then cue-bet four hearts to get him to pick a suit.

North dealer

NS vulnerable


S 10 6 5 2

H 7 3


CKQ 6 2


SA 8 7

H 5 2

DJ 10 9 2

CA 10 8 7


SQJ 9 4

H 9 8 4

DQ 8 6

CJ 9 3


SK 3

HAKQJ 10 6

D 7 4 3

C 5 4

Northeast Southwest
1 C Passed 1 H Passed
1 S Passed 4 H All Passed

Opening link – DJ

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