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. With ten to twelve points, he gives a limit raise of three clubs. North could have bid 2NT but he does not have a diamond stopper. North also knows that if South has a flat hand, he does not have 15-17 points. He may have 18 or he may have 14. With either, South raises to 3NT and they are there with 24 high card points and a five card suit.
The contract: Three No trump 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 eight tricks and needs to develop a ninth. Spades should provide a place for the ninth trick if the opponents do not grab five first.
Declarer holds-up and takes the third diamond trick and then plays a spade. East wins the king and the defense takes three diamonds and two spades to set the contract.
The result: Three no trump down one for -100
Note: North jumped with 10 high card points, but could have used the bidding room to explore a no trump contract. This exploration is not necessary when North is weaker with six to nine high card points. Therefore, he wants to jump and take away bidding room. Next week’s column will discuss inverted minor raises which pose a solution to this problem.