East west vulnerble

Play Bridge: Re-visiting the minisplinter option

"This bid is more useful than a reverse Bergen raise because partner can discount a King, Queen or Jack opposite the shortness."

As we saw in last week’s column, a minisplinter is a jump shift showing four-card support and a singleton or void in the suit bid with eight to ten high card points.

This bid is more useful than a reverse Bergen raise because partner can discount a King, Queen or Jack opposite the shortness. Minisplinters are game tries while full splinters, a double jump shift, tend to be slam tries.

The bidding: South, with 12 high card points and a five-card spade suit, opens one spade. North jumps to three diamonds, a minisplinter. South has wasted diamond values and signs off in three spades.

The Lead: The Ten of hearts is the best lead. From the bidding, declarer likely has wasted diamond honours and may get discards on his diamonds since either the Ace or King of diamonds is favourably placed. A club is not even considered and a trump, a passive lead, is probably the second best lead.

The play: Declarer needs the heart finesse, so he plays the Queen of hearts on the opening lead which wins. He draws trump and then plays a small diamond from dummy. East, an expert player, ducks and declarer assumes West has the ace and puts in the Jack which loses to the Queen. Declarer gets no discards on a diamond honour.

Result: Declarer loses one diamond and three clubs for +140.

Note: The Kootenay Jewel Bridge Club starts September 8th every Monday at the newly renovated Warfield Hall. Lesson starts at 11:30 and the game starts at noon.

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