North South Vulnerable

North South Vulnerable

Limit raise of a major

The bidding:

There are two passes to South. South, with 13 HCP, opens one spade. North has a flat 11 points with no ruffing value. He has no idea where partner’s values are so he cannot risk notrump. They have the golden fit in spades which is eight.

The contract should be in spades.

North has more than six to nine points. He has a limit raise with 10-12 and three-card or more support. So he bids three spades. South has a minimum hand with twelve effective points and a doubleton.

The doubleton jack is worth a point for the doubleton not the jack. South passes three spades.

The contract: Three spades by South

The opening lead: The ace of diamonds

The play:

Declarer ruffs the third round of diamonds. He draws two rounds of trump ending in dummy. He then plays hearts.

It is better to play towards the two honours, king and jack, twice than towards the solitary queen once.

This gives the opponent with the ace two chances to play it without capturing an honour. East holds-up and the king wins. This marks East with the ace. South draws the last trump ending in dummy.

It is always best to use trump as transportation when one needs to. He now plays to the jack of hearts. It holds again. South plays the five of hearts and when West shows a heart, he can play the queen knowing he can discard his losing club on the 13th heart.

The result: Three spades making plus one for +170

Note: Hold-ups by defense are important, but it is equally important not to hold-up for no reason. Here, East is holding-up for the queen.