“What I if told you that

you just read that top line wrong?”

“Simple Saturday” columns focus on basic technique and logical thinking. Problem-solving is the essence of the game — what makes it fun to play — but you can’t solve a problem unless you have the necessary information. Focus and pay attention to the play of the cards.

In today’s deal, South opens four hearts in fourth seat, and everyone passes. West leads a trump, and South takes the A-K and leads a diamond to finesse with dummy’s queen, winning. He next tries a club to his king, and West takes the ace and (not best) queen and leads a third club.


Declarer ruffs and leads a spade, and West follows with the four. Problem: Should South play the king or the jack from dummy?

Declarer has enough information to resolve this “guess.” West, who didn’t open the bidding, has shown the king of diamonds and A-Q of clubs. He can’t have the ace of spades but may have the queen. South should play dummy’s jack of spades.


You hold: S Q 8 7 4 H 8 5 D K 7 6 3 C A Q 3. You pass as dealer, after after two more passes, the player at your right opens one heart. What do you say?

ANSWER: A case exists for passing; if you act, and the opponents buy the contract, you may have helped declarer place the cards. Still most players would double. It may be important to tell partner that you have a hand with support for the other suits, suitable for contesting the partscore.

West dealer

E-W vulnerable



H J 6 3

D A Q 8 4

C 9 8 7 4


S Q 8 7 4

H 8 5

D K 7 6 3

C A Q 3


S A 10 6 5 2

H 4

D J 10 5

C J 10 6 2


S 9 3

H A K Q 10 9 7 2

D 9 2

C K 5

West North East South
Pass Pass Pass 4 H
All Pass
Opening lead — H 5

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.