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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

               Bad Break..but where?

The “bad break” is either in your suit or partner’s suit…or both! Not just bad but terminal! Or is it? How do you fancy your hand after the following bidding sequence?

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North Deals
None Vul

   

K Q 10 7 5 2

K Q 5

A J 3 2

 

N

W

 

E

S

   

 

West

North

East

South

 

2 

2 ♠

Pass

3 

Pass

4 ♠

Pass

?

 

 

 

 

2Diamond-small was either 20-22 balanced (and an unlikely option considering the auction so far) or a weak 2 in a major suit. But which one…and do you care?

If only North got to own up to which suit they held. At one point during the auction, North would be rather happy..but at which point? Are you happy with the auction? Are there higher contracts to be made? Does 4Spade-small show a strong hand, a strong suit or both? The clock is ticking…time to make a call..or not!

There is no issue for:

Michael Cornell This’problem’ makes no sense to me. I would have bid 3NT over partner’s 2Spade-small. (I will trust him to have a spade stop!)

One of the majors is breaking close to 6-0 or 6-1. I am looking at the spade void so I reckon the opener is favourite to have spades. Presumably partner has interpreted 3Heart-small as a strong spade raise and he has accepted the invitation.”

I also asked the Panel what they would choose as the final contract if they moved over 4Spade-small and partner replied showing firstly 0 or 3 key cards and then Spade-smallQ. More from Michael:

 

“I am hoist by my own petard.  l would have not used Key Card with a gun to my head. I would now bid 6Heart-small and deserve to run into a 6/0 break!

Assuming partner is sane, we cannot make spades. He wasn’t even good enough to bid 3Spade-small over 2Diamond-small.”

Michael makes a number of interesting points. Was 3Heart-small a wise bid? Is it indeed a spade raise asking for heart help? That is certainly very plausible, especially if the Weak 2 is in hearts. Then, Michael reinforces that one should not “pre-empt a pre-empt” and that means the jump to 3Spade-small over 2Diamond-small should be Intermediate.

 

The Panel are not keen on 5-level adventures.

Nigel Kearney “Pass: Looking for slam is far too speculative. We have no fit, some extra values but not a lot, and suits are not breaking.”

Andy Braithwaite “Pass: It looks like North has 6 hearts to me so I want to play in no trumps if I reach slam. But partner only bid 2Spade-small initially so can’t have more than a 15 count and so will need a hand with 6 running spades an ace outside and another trick. Surely with that hand 3Spade-small or 4Spade-small would have been the initial overcall?

So, I will pass as I cannot see a 12th trick anywhere.”

 

Stephen Blackstock “Pass: There are too many possible hazards to go adventuring here. What has East shown? Not seven super solid spades and an ace. 2Spade-small would then have been a massive underbid.

Our presenter’s chat about finding all the key cards to be present is unrealistic. In any event, opposite my void, East’s “solid” spades may not run, even AKQJxxx is not “solid” if North has a singleton. And if North (the scoundrel) has bid 2Diamond-small with a five -card heart suit, two rounds of hearts may well promote a defensive trump trick.

Even if East were to have a heart void, we will need a favourable diamond layout (the jack with East would help) and maybe a finesse in clubs also to come to 12 tricks. All too speculative unless the 2Spade-small bid is a lot stronger than one could expect, and normal values for 2Spade-small (i.e. less than eight tricks) makes the five level potentially unsafe.”

 

Bruce Anderson “Pass:  Unlikely as it seems North could have 6 weak spades for his opener, or could have 6 hearts notwithstanding my holding. Even if North is unhinged and has a weak 5 card major either way, we don’t want to be any higher than we are already given the very likely bad breaks. Partner will have a strong spade suit but cannot have much outside strength given they did not double first, so pass it is.”

There will be some debate when the actual East hand is shown why they did not bid more than 2Spade-small.

North Deals
None Vul

10 7 6 5 4 3

J 4

A 4

K 9 5

K Q 10 7 5 2

K Q 5

A J 3 2

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

A K Q J 8 2

A 6

10 7 6 3

Q

 

9

9 8 3

J 9 8 2

10 8 7 6 4

 

West

North

East

South

 

2 

2 ♠

Pass

3 

Pass

4 ♠

Pass

?

 

 

 

 

Let’s agree not to play Weak Jumps over a Weak or Multi 2Diamond-small. The question remains as to whether East is too strong for an Intermediate Jump. If so, and the answer is a nervous “yes”, then 4Spade-small first up should fit the bill. The Panel seemed sure East could not have the hand they described.

The Panel seemed undecided about which major North held. That North opening may not suit some who like high honours in their suit though will fit the bill for others.

There were a variety of contracts when the board was played ranging from 3Spade-small by East, 2Spade-small x by North who paid for their weak opening to the tune of -1100, to 6NT cold played by West and only beatable from the other side if South starts off with a club.

6Heart-small by West was an interesting contract on the lead of Diamond-smallA and a second diamond. West won to play Club-smallA and a second club, ruffed in dummy.They played Spade-smallA discarding a club and then Spade-smallK on which South ruffed with Heart-small8 and West over-ruffed. Now, West ruffed their last club with Heart-smallA and although they had no more losers, there was no safe way back to the West hand when these cards remained:

 

10 7 6 5

J 4

K Q 7 5 2

Q

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

Q J 8 2

10 7

 

9 3

J 8

10 8

 

Spade-smallQ brought Heart-small9 from South and West had to over-ruff with Heart-smallQ. North’s Heart-smallJ became the setting trick. 

stronger jumps.jpg

Stronger jumps?

So, either East needs to refine their jump overcalls and make a more descriptive bid or else take the Panel’s advice on board. “Life in the fast lane” does not always bring success.

Success at Pairs

West Deals
E-W Vul

K

Q J 4

A 9 6 4 2

A Q 8 6

   

N

W

 

E

S

 

8

K 9 8 7 5 2

K Q

K J 9 7

 

West

North

East

South

 

Dummy

You

 

Pass

1 

1 

1 ♠

Pass

2 ♣

Pass

2 

Pass

3 NT

Pass

4 ♠

All pass

 

 

 

 

Pairs is an aggravating game when the under and over tricks go against you. Will the above deal be just another aggravation?!

The bidding was natural except for the 2Heart-small force. West led Heart-small6…low from dummy….and you?

Richard Solomon

 

 

 

 

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