East West Vulnerable

East West Vulnerable

Inverted minor raise

  • May. 24, 2011 4:00 p.m.

The bidding:

South, with 14 high card points, opens one club, his better minor. North, without a four or five-card major, chooses to raise his partner with five-card support. In the last column, North gave a limit raise. The difference between a major-suit limit raise and a minor-suit limit raise is that with the minor-suit fit, a game in notrump still needs to be explored.

Therefore with ten or more points, North bids two clubs. This gives North South room to show major suit stoppers. South with a minimum hand and stoppers in both majors bids 2 NT. North passes. In the last column, North did not have a chance to pass 2 NT since South had to bid 3 NT over three clubs.

The contract: Two Notrump by South

The opening lead: The king of diamonds

The play: The dummy comes down, and South takes time to think out the whole hand. He has the eight tricks for his contract and needs to develop overtricks if possible. South plays low to the opening lead and if West continues with diamonds, South will score the ace and jack of diamonds. This is known as the Bath coup.

East plays a low diamond on partner’s king to discourage continuation and West switches to a heart. South needs to develop overtricks and plays a low spade from dummy. It is important to start from dummy because, East, the danger hand, will likely play low.

East does and West wins the trick. He continues with a heart. Declarer wins and since he has no more heart stoppers, he has to cash out. He loses two spades, two hearts and one diamond but takes five clubs, two hearts and one diamond making two notrump.

The result: Two notrump making for +120

Note: If South did not have a stopper in both majors, he would have bid the major with the stopper at the two-level.