Bridge: May 14, 2022

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

Learning players are exposed to “rules” that are more or less sensible. Years ago, one authority told his students that they should never lead from a king. I think he ought to be spending eternity holding hands with all four kings — obliged to lead from one of them.

In today’s deal, South arrived at four hearts after bidding spades, then hearts. West led the ace of diamonds, and since he knew the injunction about leading from kings, he shifted to a spade.


Declarer won, took the K-A of trumps and threw a club on the king of diamonds. He lost a club and a trump to East, making four.

In this deal, West must lead a club at Trick Two. South’s bidding promised at least 10 major-suit cards. If South’s clubs are A-x, West loses nothing since South would discard his low club on dummy’s king of diamonds anyway. But if East has the ace, West must hasten to cash the defenders’ club tricks.


You hold: S 7 6 4 3 H J 2 D A 9 8 5 C K 6 3. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade, he bids two clubs and you return to two hearts. Partner then bids three hearts. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your partner knows you have a weak hand and lack true heart support since you didn’t raise directly. Still, he is trying for game. Consider how much worse your hand might be! You have honors in his long suits, and a side ace. To bid four hearts is clear.

North dealer

N-S vulnerable



H A 7 5

D K J 6 2

C Q J 9 4


S 7 6 4 3

H J 2

D A 9 8 5

C K 6 3


S 8 5

H Q 4 3

D Q 10 7 4

C A 8 5 2


S K Q 10 9 2

H K 10 9 8 6

D 3

C 10 7

North East South West
1 NT Pass 3 S Pass
3 NT Pass 4 H All Pass

Opening lead — D A

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