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N-S vul at matchpoints, as south you hold: ♠AKJ9752 1052 J4 ♣2


What do you bid as dealer?


This is a good hand with a great seven card suit. Better, it is spades, so that we can always outbid the opponents at the same level. Should we open the bidding? And if so, what?


This hand qualifies as a preemptive hand as it has a long suit with no values on the outside. It almost qualifies as an opening bid. The only flaw is a few points and no defensive values outside spades.


I would open 1♠ only if I was trying to create a swing. Otherwise, no. I would consider opening 3♠, but not at this vulnerability. The problem with 3♠ is that partner will never play you for such a good hand, but more like ♠KJ109752 1052 QJ4 ♣2. I strongly believe in not opening a weak two with a seven card suit.


The other important reason a preempt is unnecessary is that with the master suit you can always overcall, and listen to what partner and the opponents bid without the pressure of doing so at the three level. If I would preempt I would open 4♠.


At the table this hand opened 3♠ and caught his partner with ♠4 KQ8 AKQ8 ♣Q103. Partner correctly passed and declarer made five when the ♠Q fell.



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