Neither vul, at Matchpoints, you hold as south: ♠96532 K976J107 ♣3


W      N       E       S

P       1      P       11

Dbl    3♣     3♠      P

P       4     P       ?


1 Just reporting the facts.


What do you bid?

Here is a hand from the recent Sectional, Saturday morning. I chose this hand as there are many lessons to learn from it. However bidding 1♥ when you are 5-4 n the major is not one of them. Having said that things have turned up pretty rosy for South. It looks like he avoided the oppositions 4-4 spade fit! It is a 99% certainty, in my opinion, that each opponent has four spades for their equal vulnerability, passed hand bidding. What else do we know?


Partner bid 3♣. Normally this is a game forcing bid, but not here. Why? If partner really had 18-19 HCPs they would redouble to show this hand. So 3♣ is lighter, but still a very good opener. I would expect in the 14-16 HCP hand. With the spade knowledge, we know partner is either 0-3-5-5 or 0-3-6-4. Either way 4♥ will play miserably. You will have to ruff spades with partner’s hearts and your heart suit is too poor to withstand this onslaught. Plus you will still have spade losers!


The second best bid is 5. Yes you will likely go down one, but at least you are in the best suit. At the table the South passed and went down three for -150 and a bottom.


Why did I say the 2nd best bid? Because South should double 3♠! He has a bad hand yes, but N-S still have half the deck and trumps are splitting 5-0. To take away any doubt you are on lead! Lead a trump and when you get in again (either K or a club ruff, lead another trump. 3♠ goes down -300 and you get a top instead of a bottom. The full deal:




♠ -
♥ A 5 2
♦ K Q 8 4 3
♣ A Q 10 6 4

♠ Q J 10 8
♥ Q J 4 3
♦ 9
♣ K J 8 5

Bridge deal

♠ A K 7 4
♥ 10 8
♦ A 6 5 2
♣ 9 7 2


♠ 9 6 5 3 2
♥ K 9 7 6
♦ J 10 7
♣ 3




Lessons to Learn



1)    In order to play in a 4-3 fit where you know you will be ruffing losers with the three card holding, you must have good trumps in the four card suit.


2)    If responder has a weaker hand with five spades and four hearts, or 5-5, quite often a heart fit will not be found. A worthwhile convention is that over a minor 2 shows 5-4 or 5-5 with 5-8 HCPs and 2 with 9-11 HCPs.


3)    Quite often you can deduce exact distribution, as the spade void on this hand, by the bids made (or not made) by the other three players.


4)    If, after opening, RHO doubles conventionally (i.e. negative double) or bids a suit, the strongest rebid opener can make is double or redouble showing about 18-21 HCPs. Any other calls, including jumps, deny this strong a hand.


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