North/South vulnerable

North/South vulnerable

Ask for suit quality

Play Bridge: Tips and tricks for the bridge player, new to experienced.

Weak Two’s: South opens two spades in second seat. Although preemptive for both his LHO (left hand opponent) and his partner, the beauty of the bid is it’s descriptive nature. Over a major, two notrump asks for the quality of the bid. This asking bid is called Ogust.

An answer in a minor shows minimum points and an answer in a major shows maximum points. Three spades and three diamonds shows two of the top three honours and three hearts or three clubs show one of the top three honours or less. A response of 3NT shows AKQxxx.

In response to  Ogust, South bids three spades because he has a good suit with good points.

Cue bidding: Trump suit was set as spades. So new suits are forcing and often show an ace or first round control. A better system is that all cuebids below game show either first or second round control and cuebids above game show first round control then second round control but not both.

Four clubs shows either first or second round control in clubs. Four diamonds shows first or second round control in diamonds. This could be at least a singleton or king.

Now North asks for keycards. It is always best when the strong hand can ask especially when the partner has made a weak two bid. South has one or four keycards. North knows it to be one.

The bid of five hearts asks South if he has the queen of trump. An answer of five spades is no. South says yes by bidding his cheapest king. He has the king of hearts for his six heart bid. This also denies the king of clubs and the king of diamonds. North knows he has the ace and queen of trump with the king of hearts and a singleton or void in diamonds. Six spades is a cold contract.

The contract: Six spades by South

The opening lead: The seven of clubs

The play: Declarer wins the opening lead with the ace. He can afford to lose a trick to the king of clubs later, but cannot stand a ruff. He draws trump, concedes the king of clubs and claims. It is possible to make an overtrick here but not with a club lead. A club lead made sense because declarer had the king of hearts and one keycard from the bidding. West was likely to be leading through club strength in the dummy.