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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

right...and wrong!

The Right Bids ..with a wiggle in the middle!

North-South were not a regular partnership and the pre-play discussions covered several “normalish” bidding situations like Michael’s cue-bids and in particular that 2NT after 1 of a major opening would show both minor suits. Such sequences would probably not occur, at least “probably not” until Board 20. Well, that was near the end of the evening.

After South passed, West did open 1Spade-small and North bid a quiet 2NT. That got passed to South who held an interesting collection:
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South Deals
Both Vul

 

N

W

 

E

S

   
 

6 4

4

Q J 7 6 3

Q 10 7 3 2

 

West

North

East

South

 

 

 

Pass

1 ♠

2 NT

Pass

?

As you can see, South had not too many high-card points but had a fistful of minor cards themselves, as many as their partner did. So, despite the vulnerability, it seemed a good idea to bid as quickly as high as one would want to go before West inevitably continued the bidding, probably with a heart bid. South was not too sure they wanted to go that high but pre-emption seemed the order of the day. So, direct to the 5-level. It did not really seem to matter which suit to make trumps. So, South chose the bottom one, clubs:5Club-small

There was not much reaction to that bid from West who passed in tempo but North thought a bit…and a bit more. Were they going to raise to slam? South rather hoped not…but that was now out of their hands. Eventually, North passed as did East.

West led Spade-smallA and dummy was not quite as expected, producing only 6 minor cards, though 4 of them were in clubs and the two diamonds were rather useful, too.

South Deals
Both Vul

K 10 5

A K 7 5

A K

K J 8 5

A J 8 7 2

J 8 6 3

9 8 2

A

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

Q 9 3

Q 10 9 2

10 5 4

9 6 4

 

6 4

4

Q J 7 6 3

Q 10 7 3 2

 

West

North

East

South

 

 

 

Pass

1 ♠

2 NT

Pass

5 ♣

All pass

 

 

 

Well, if you cannot produce suitable length in the minors, then producing a 22-count with 4 clubs was more than adequate compensation.

Dummy was duly thanked (and meant!). After winning Spade-smallA, West continued with a second spade. South held their breath but East followed suit after Spade-smallK was played from dummy. A club was played to West’s Club-smallA after which South’s contract was very safe and made 11 tricks.

A rueful smile came over an apologetic North’s face. North need not have apologized. Indeed, 11 tricks can be made with either minor suit as trumps but, and a big “but”, 3NT has no chance of making on a spade lead!  North would have to lose a trick to Club-smallA in order to make at least 9 tricks as the defence then take 4 spades and Club-smallA. What did West open and what then would East have led? “Partner’s suit, of course!”

West’s opening bid had been inspired. They held only a 10-count but held both majors, a fair time to be aggressive in one’s opening bid. This time, there was no low-point count major game available for East-West but look what was likely to happen if West had not opened the bidding.

North would open 2NT (definitely 20-22 balanced!) and South may well raise a level. Which major would East lead, assuming West had not opened the bidding? Why, a heart of course! Now, the Club-smallA can be knocked out in comfort with the defence taking 2 more tricks at most if West switched to a low spade and North misguessed the location of Spade-smallA (remember, West had not opened the bidding.) So, the best chance of West getting a spade lead would be if they had opened the bidding.

Possibly, North-South were playing 3Spade-small over a strong 2NT opening as showing both minor suits. If so, and South had bid 3Spade-small, then West might double speculatively for a spade lead (in which case their opponents may well drift off to the safety of 5Club-small) or else there would be no double and East would be even more certain to lead a heart against 3NT. While North does have a 4-card minor, they do also have good-looking major-suit holds making 3NT an attractive-looking game option.

So, West’s opening 1Spade-small was an extra- good choice. Again, were North to double 1Spade-small, the sequence might go as follows:

West                    North             East                South

1Spade-small                         x                      Pass                2Diamond-small

Pass                      2Spade-small1                  Pass                3Club-small

Pass                     ?

1 strong and forcing

5Club-small might seem a long way-off to North with one and a half stops in spades. They may well bid 3NT.

Yes, West’s opening bid was great and the 2NT mix-up unlucky for them.

So, too, was 5Club-small a good bid…bidding to the best and safest making game thanks to their partner’s 2NT bid!

Two good bids with a 2NT “wobble in the middle”.

Richard Solomon

I wonder how many of this weekend’s Open and Women’s National Trialists would have had the above auction. Let’s hope not too many though I suspect more than a few would approve of West’s 1Spade-small opening.

The following message comes from the NZ International Chef de Mission, Jonathan Westoby

2024 INTERNATIONAL TRIALS

 

The trials for the 2024 Open and Women International Teams will be held on the weekend of the 3rd to 6th February (at Auckland Bridge Club 3rd and 4th, Open Final at Remuera Bowling Club 5th, Women Final on Real Bridge 6th).

 

There are four teams contesting the Open selection, and 3 teams contesting the Women’s.

       OPEN TRIALISTS

Tislevoll            

GeO Tislevoll - Leon Meier

Matthew McManus - Michael Ware

Berrington

Ian Berrington - Graeme Tuffnell

Malcolm Mayer - Pam Livingston

Reid

Martin Reid - Peter Newell

Nick Jacob - Ashley Bach

Schumacher

Tim Schumacher - David Skipper

Jack James - Wayne Burrows

WOMEN TRIALISTS

Smith

Kinga Hajmasi - Candice Smith

Anne-Marie Russell - Annette Henry

Gibbons

Christine Gibbons - Jenna Gibbons

Jan Alabaster - Jane Lennon

Terry

Kate Terry - Mindy Wu

Linda Cartner - Glenis Palmer

Michael Whibley- Matthew Brown have been pre-selected as a pair in the Open International Team. The third pair for the Women's Team will be selected in consultation with the winning team. As well as the above, Andi Boughey - Carol Richardson are also available to be selected for this team.  

Open Semi-Final draw

Reid vs Schumacher

Tislevoll vs Berrington

 

Please refer to the NZ Bridge website – International – 2024 Trials - for more information including a link (yet to be posted) for up to date results.

 

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