North south vulnerable

North south vulnerable

Play Bridge: Revisiting an adventurous EHAA

"South has the same hand as last week’s column, but this time, the opponents have the outstanding points."

South has the same hand as last week’s column, but this time, the opponents have the outstanding points. South has jammed the bidding, but delicate bidding can make them pay a high penalty for their pre-empt.

The bidding: South opens an EHAA weak Two Hearts, and West evaluates his hand. He has the perfect hand for direct action over any weak two. He has 15 HCP’s, none in the opponent’s suit, and Heart shortness. Having four-cards in the unbid major is a plus and he has at least three cards in the other two suits.

East hears his partner’s request to take the double out by bidding his longest suit, but he passes converting the takeout double to a penalty double because his best suit by far is Hearts.

The Opening lead: When a player passes a takeout double for penalty, trump must be led. West leads the Ten of Hearts.

The Play: East takes the first trick and draws four more rounds of trump. He then switches to a diamond and South gets only the Diamond Ace for down seven and -2000.  If East switches to a Spade, South will get two tricks and be down six for -1700.

Alternate Bidding: Had South passed, West opens One Diamond and East responds One Heart. West shows his four Spades and East bids Two Clubs as fourth suit forcing (FSF) to game. After FSF, West must show a delayed raise in partner’s suit with three, rebid his Diamond suit with six cards or No Trump with a club stopper.

West bids Two No Trump because one does not jump to game after FSF to give partner more room for exploration.  There is probably a good reason why partner did not jump to Three No Trump himself and instead used FSF. They eventually get to Three No Trump and make six. If they were in six, a spade lead sets it, however, North will never lead a suit Declarer has bid, and a spade does not get led.