Today, I will take a break from the beginner bridge columns and discuss a hand that happened at the Kootenay Jewel bridge club (Every Monday at the Warfield Hall at 11:30am).
The bidding: West may be tempted to make a weak two in spades, but the spade suit is too poor for first or second seat. One needs to be able to control the trump suit. One could gamble that partner has the ace and queen and the king is in the pocket. However, partner would never know what kind of preempt he is dealing with. One should have either two of the top three honours or three of the top five honours in a six card suit.
Four spades makes. A weak two preempts the opponents at the same time as providing a good description of one’s hand to partner. West’s best bid is pass. It is usually not a good idea to preempt in first or second seat with a hand that would provide game opposite a one notrump opener.
In fourth seat, South opens 1”. North has no four-card major, does not have the ten high card points to bid two clubs and does not have five diamonds to support diamonds. He responds with 1NT showing six to nine points and almost any distribution.
South then jumps to three clubs showing a game forcing hand (18+ points) and five clubs and five or more diamonds. A two club response could show a strong hand with five diamonds and four clubs.
North tries a stab at 3NT, but with a void, South bids four clubs which is still forcing to game. North puts the contract in five clubs.
The play: West leads the jack of spades, top of a sequence and a natural lead. South ducks in dummy and ruffs the jack of spades with the ace of clubs. He then draws three rounds of trump and cashes the ace of diamonds. He exits a small diamond. He does not have the transportation to take the diamond finesse without cashing the ace of hearts. The queen and king crash and declarer has a resting place for two hearts. He then can ruff the queen of hearts in dummy.
Declarer makes five diamond tricks and a place to park a heart loser. If declarer uses the ten of clubs and the ace of hearts as entries to take the diamond finesse twice and the king and queen are third offside, declarer will be down one in five. He could lose two diamonds and still make his contract as long as he does not lose a heart as well.
Result: five clubs plus one for +620.