East west vulnerable

Play Bridge: Two-Over-One by a passed hand

Tips and tricks for bridge players

In the last column, we saw that the two-over-one game forcing system reverts back to Standard American when there is competitive bidding. This is also the case when the player is a passed hand. In general, a passed hand cannot force partner to bid, but can still show partner the location of ten or more points (or a really good nine points).

The bidding: North, with 13 HCP’s opens One Diamond, and South responds Two Clubs showing a good club suit, ten HCP’s and no four-card major. He can skip a four-card major to bid a longer Club suit, but this is not wise when partner can likely pass Two Clubs. A passed hand should not skip a four card major.

North raises clubs showing support and a game possibility. South shows a major stopper and North choses Four Clubs with his stiff Spade. South passes because he has already shown everything he has and partner could not go to Three No Trump or Five Clubs. One never tells the same story twice.

The Play: West leads a Spade, and South wins the Ace and ruffs a Spade. He plays a trump from Dummy and East ducks once. South ruffs the last Spade, cashes a Diamond honour and plays the last Club in dummy. East takes his Ace and plays a Spade.

South ruffs in his hand and finesses a diamond. The law of Restricted Choice states that honours are most likely to be split between the defenders’ hands. When East played the Queen under the Diamond Ace, he was restricted to play the Queen because he likely did not have the Jack.

Declarer gets to pitch a heart on a Diamond and needs the Heart finesse because the Diamonds split badly. It works and declarer makes Four Clubs plus two for +170.

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