This column revisits the simple response discussed on page 2 of the Trail Times, March 19, 2013. In that column, North also opened one heart, but South had four spades and replied a spade. Here, there is a different twist.
The bidding: North with his unbalanced 18 points, opens one heart showing five hearts. South responds 1NT showing six to nine points. South does not have a notrump distribution and has a singleton in partner’s suit. South also does not have a spade stopper. These conditions are required for a 2NT or 3NT response. A 1NT response just shows the inability to bid a new suit at the two-level with 10 or more high card points.
North has a very strong hand and makes a reverse by bidding two spades. South has no fit for either of partner’s suits and bids three clubs. This bid after a 1NT response is to play. North passes. Having a singleton in partner’s suit is a reason to pass. They can never find a diamond fit because South is weak.
The Lead: The queen of spades is a natural lead because it is the top of a sequence. The other suits are undesirable leads.
The play: Declarer wins the ace of spades and cashes the top heart and ruffs a heart. He then plays a trump which West wins and continues with the ten of spades showing partner the top and bottom of his sequence. Declarer wins the king, sluffs a diamond and ruffs another heart. He then draws the rest of the trump and goes to dummy on the ace of diamonds. He pitches two diamonds. Declarer still has a diamond to lose.
The result: Declarer loses a diamond and the ace of clubs making five clubs for +150.
-It is difficult to bid five clubs which will go down if West ever leads a diamond on the opening lead or when he wins the ace of clubs.
-All the bridge columns may be viewed at http://watsongallery.ca.