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

A wink may be the quickest way to get yourself into trouble, but drawing trumps too soon may run a close second. In today’s deal, South leaped to four hearts at his second turn, reasonably enough. (A bid of three hearts would only have invited game.) West led the jack of diamonds, and South won with dummy’s ace … and drew trumps.

South next led a club, and dummy’s king won. He then tried a spade to his king, but West took the ace and led a second diamond. He set up a diamond winner for the defense while he still had the ace of clubs, so South lost four tricks.


South failed because he drew trumps too soon. He can lead a trump to his hand at Trick Two but next a club. West ducks, and the king wins.

South can then draw the remaining trumps and lead a second club. West wins, but South can win the diamond return and discard his losing diamond on the queen of clubs to assure the contract.


You hold: S 10 6 5 2 H 7 3 D A K 5 C K Q 6 2. The dealer, at your left, opens three hearts. Your partner doubles, and the next player passes. What do you say?

ANSWER: This is a delicate situation. Partner should have a hand worth at least 17 points, plus support for the unbid suits, so you have a game somewhere. You could jump to four spades, but in case he has doubled with only three cards in spades, cue-bid four hearts to have him pick a suit.

North dealer

N-S vulnerable


S 10 6 5 2

H 7 3

D A K 5

C K Q 6 2


S A 8 7

H 5 2

D J 10 9 2

C A 10 8 7


S Q J 9 4

H 9 8 4

D Q 8 6

C J 9 3


S K 3

H A K Q J 10 6

D 7 4 3

C 5 4

North East South West
1 C Pass 1 H Pass
1 S Pass 4 H All Pass

Opening lead — D J

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