East west vulnerable

Play Bridge: Reverse Bergen Raise

"Bergen raises are on in competition and even when partner is an overcall."

In a column in June past, Bergen Raises were introduced. Reverse Bergen Raises also show four-card support for partner’s major and consist of three diamonds being the constructive raise (8 to 9), three clubs being the limit raise (10-12) and three of the major being weak (7 or less). The three club and three diamond responses are reversed to give more room for help suit game try over a limit raise.

Bergen raises are on in competition and even when partner is an overcall. One would hardly ever want to play in a minor at the three-level when one already knows one has a misfit with partner’s original suit so three of a minor is free to be used for Bergen raises.

The bidding: South opens one spade and West makes a direct cuebid showing five-five in hearts and in another suit (top and other). North bids three clubs showing four-card support and a limit raise in spades.

South bids three diamonds asking partner if he has help in diamonds and if he is at the upper end of a limit raise. North accepts, and they play in game.

The Lead: The Queen of clubs is a natural lead as it is top of a touching honour sequence.

The play: Declarer wins the Ace of clubs and plays a small heart to the King. West ducks, hoping the declarer will play to the Jack, and the King wins. The remaining heart is discarded on the King of clubs. Declarer runs the Eight of spades and West shows out. The Ten of spades is then run through next. The Three of spades is played to the Jack and the entire spade suit is picked up.

Declarer runs the Jack of diamonds through to the Ace.

Result: Declarer loses one diamond and makes four spades plus two for +480.

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