North South Vulnerable

Play Bridge: An unusual pre-empt move

"There is no such thing as a club weak two because Two Clubs shows a strong hand."

It will surprise nobody that reads this column, that I think about bridge often, and I have come up with a fantastic bid. This bid is a Three Club opening in third seat when it has gone Pass Pass to you showing either just clubs or both minors (five clubs and any second run-out suit will likely work).

There is no such thing as a club weak two because Two Clubs shows a strong hand. With a weak two in clubs, one either passes or bids Three Clubs. Therefore, an opening of Three Clubs can either be a six-card or longer suit.

In third seat, one should also open Three Clubs if one is five-five in the minors with less than 10 points. If your Left Hand Opponent doubles and Your Right Hand Opponent leaves the double in, you retreat to Three Diamonds. The reward is high with this bid, and the risk is even lower than opening Three Clubs with six clubs. Therefore the reward to risk is very high.

This bid is perfect for either matchpoints or teams, but is only used when partner is a passed hand. If partner has not yet bid and is loaded with points, bidding becomes difficult if he cannot be certain that the bid is one minor or both minors.

The bidding: East in third seat opens Three Clubs, and South doubles with both majors and shortness in clubs. If partner bids Three Diamonds, one can make an equal level correction to Three Hearts and partner will pick his best major. Here North passes the takeout double converting it to penalty, and East retreats to diamonds.

A Five Diamond sacrifice would be only down 500 which is good in comparison with the 680 that North and South can get in hearts. However, they do not get the opportunity to play there doubled.

South bids Three Hearts and North raises him to game. North has shown a fair amount of values even outside of clubs or he could not have passed a double of a low level club contract. South, fairly sure he can make Five Hearts makes a slam try of Five Diamonds. This could be a Last Train slam try discussed in a previous column or just a diamond Ace. North likes the prospects for slam and bids it.

The Play: The King of clubs is led and South makes Six Hearts for +1430.

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