None vulerable

Play Bridge: Rebidding on two no-trump

"The bidding in this column depends on partnership style and agreement."

The bidding in this column depends on partnership style and agreement. When one opens a major, and partner replies a forcing No Trump, a rebid of Two No Trump can have one of two meanings.

If a partnership will open One No Trump with a balanced 15-17 points containing a five-card major, then a rebid of Two No Trump shows 18-19 HCP’s. However, if a partnership rarely opens One No Trump with a five-card major, a rebid of 2NT shows 15-17. I prefer the former, but still recommend the latter to my readership.

The bidding: North has a balanced 16 HCP’s and a five-card major, so he opens One Spade. South does not have an opening hand so he responds with a forcing One No Trump.

North rebids Two No Trump showing a balanced 15 to 17 points. South counts his Tens as a half, comes to ten HCP’s and bids 3NT. Tens in four-card suits accompanied by another honour and intermediates are certainly useful cards and can be counted as half a high card point. South has an easy decision with ten points and a difficult decision with eight or nine.

The Play: West leads the Heart Two showing a four-card suit. Declarer wins the Heart lead with the Ace. So why did I not recommend ducking the first Heart? It is in case the Heart five is needed as an exit card so the opponents have to break open the Club suit.

South then puts the Diamond Jack on the table which goes to West’s Ace. The Heart return is won with the King. Because the Diamond Queen is onside, declarer will not need his Club King and will not use the Heart to end play West.

Declarer plays a Spade to take the Diamond finesse again. The last Spade is played, and all the Spades in Dummy are cashed. The Diamond finesse is taken once more, and declarer gets five Spades, two Hearts and three Diamonds for +430.

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