Points Of Interest


30th November – Board 14. Love All. Dealer East.
If you want added sophistication after a 2NT opening and a transfer from partner then look no further than the hand below….

North:
S K 8 7 5 2
H K 6
D 5 4
C A J 4 2

West:
S 9
H J 10 7 5 4 2
D K Q 3
C 8 7 3

East:
S A Q 10 4 3
H A Q
D A J 8 2
C K 10

South:
S J 6
H 9 8 3                   
D 10 9 7 6
C Q 9 6 5


  West
 North
  East
  South

   
   2NT
    No
     3D
    No
   3NT

    No
     4D
    No
    4H
    End


With the use of five-card Stayman there is no need to be shy about opening 2NT on that East hand and West would obviously bid 3D, a transfer to hearts. However from East’s point of view West might have five hearts and three spades when 4S might be the best contract so opener shows five spades and just two hearts by bidding 3NT! It’s true that you can no longer play in a partscore after a 2NT opening but the last time that happened the cow jumped over the moon! As it happens West will insist on playing in hearts and as he wants the strong hand to be declarer he re-transfers – which he can do by bidding 4D!

All The Tens


30th November – Board 22. East/West Game. Dealer East.
That South hand may not look very pretty when you pick it up but it has hidden pearls beyond price.

North:
S K
H 9 7 6
D K Q J 5 4 3
C K 7 5

West:
S 9 7 5 3
H 8 4 3
D 7 6
C Q J 4 2

East:
S Q J 6 4
H K Q 5 2
D 9 8
C 9 8 3

South:
S A 10 8 2
H A J 10                   
D A 10 2
C A 10 6


  West
 North
  East
  South

   
  
    1S
     No
    2D
    No

    2NT
     No
    3D
    No
    3H
     No
    4S
    No
    5C
     No
    5D
    No
    6D
    End





2NT is game forcing so that 3D not only shows a six card suit but is also a slam try because otherwise North would sign off most likely with 3NT. Holding all the big boys South should really be convinced at this point that he is going for a slam and the only real question should be how big. So after a few desultory queue bids 6D it is and now the full strength of South’s hand becomes apparent. That ten of hearts transforms the slam from being speculative into being 100% (I think) with the 2-2 trump break. I’ll let you work out why.

Ashes To Ashes


2nd November – Board 4. Game All. Dealer West.
It’s always so irritating when a good hand goes to waste but to be fair the defence to 3NT on the hand shown below shouldn’t be too hard to find.

North:
S Q 10 6 5
H K 9 8
D K 8 3
C K J 7

West:
S J 8 2
H 10 5 2
D Q 9 6 2
C 6 4 2

East:
S A K 9 7
H A Q 4
D A J 7
C A Q 3

South:
S 4 3
H J 7 6 3                   
D 10 5 4
C 10 9 8 5


  West
 North
  East
  South
     No
    No
   2C/2D
    No
  2D/2H
    No
     2NT
    No
     3NT
    End
    
   


Everyone would surely end up in 3NT and South has the most obvious club lead in the world but even though this gives declarer two tricks in that suit he is still a long way from home. The best bet is to play the jack of diamonds from hand but North should not be fooled, letting the jack win. After all he knows declarer has the ace from the bidding and assuming South gives a count signal of the four, showing an odd number, then it is obvious what declarer is up to. If North mistakenly wins this trick then declarer will make two spades, two hearts via a finesse, three diamonds and two clubs. Stuck in hand however, declarer will ultimately concede defeat. (I see that Deep Finesse, the program that analyses these hands from a double dummy viewpoint, shows that 3NT can be made. See if you can work it out.)

Too Good


2nd November – Board 9. East/west Game. Dealer North.
I can hardly remember seeing a hand as bad as West’s on the featured hand, yet strangely he had an important role to play.

North:
S K 10 7 4
H A K J
D Q 10 9 4
C 6 2

West:
S 5 3 2
H 8 5 4 2
D 6 3
C 8 5 4 3

East:
S A Q J 9
H 9 7
D 5 2
C A K Q J 10

South:
S 8 6
H Q 10 6 3                   
D A K J 8 7
C 9 7


  West
 North
  East
  South

    1NT
   Dbl
   Redbl
     2C
    No
    No

    2D
    End
   
    
   


Of course at a lot of tables the contract would be 1NT X and West should be pleased that costs as little as -180, although East would have been slightly shaken at the outcome. However once South has redoubled West has to take action for the simple reason that if made, as likely, the opposition would have been redoubled into game. So 2C it is and fingers crossed and naturally East must understand that his partner is bidding from abject weakness, not strength. As an aside, many players cannot redouble for penalties in this position. Someone sitting not a million miles away from me now plays that redouble shows a long minor and asks partner to bid 2C which is either left or converted to 2D. 2C is Stayman and 2D and 2H are red suit transfers. As a further aside I see that East is too good. Give West the ten of clubs and he has an entry to push a spade through North.

Chance To Shine


Chance To Shine.
26th October – Board 7. Game All. Dealer South.
Some slams are easier to bid than others and when they come along it is important to seize the opportunity.

North:
S 9 8 7 6
H A K 10 4 3 2
D none
C 6 5 3

West:
S A K Q J 5
H 8
D K 5 3
C K Q 10 9

East:
S 10
H 9 5
D A Q T 8 6 4 2
C A J 8

South:
S 4 3 2
H Q J 7 6   
D J 9 7
C 7 4 2            



  West
 North
  East
  South
    
   
    
    No
     1S
    2H
     3D
    3H
     4NT
    No
     5S
    No
     6D
   End
   



3D shows a good hand of course and all West really wants to know about are the missing key cards and if partner disappointingly only turns up with one of those you can reside in 5D. Playing pairs it might be tempting – very tempting as it happens – to bid 6S on that West hand to get a better score but that gives North a chance to shine. A low heart lead would lead to a surprised South winning the trick who should be able to work out what his partner is after. If not he would find himself partnerless the following week, as likely as not.