Both vulnerable

Both vulnerable

Waiting for a strong hand

The bidding: Two clubs is the strong opening bid in any suit. Two of any other suit is a weak opener - a pre-empt bid.

The bidding: Two clubs is the strong opening bid in any suit. Two of any other suit is a weak opener – a pre-empt bid.

South, with nine quick tricks and 23 points, opens two clubs. For a two-club opener, the hand must have either eight and a half quick tricks or over 21 points. This hand meets both requirements.

If two diamonds is reserved for a negative response then North has to bid three clubs. Now, as shown in the first bidding sequence, South bids three spades and now North is unsure whether to bid three notrump or four hearts. However, the second bidding sequence shown uses two diamonds waiting and now South can introduce both spades and hearts below the three notrump level.

The contract: Four hearts by South

The opening lead: The ace of diamonds

The play: South ruffs the continuation of diamonds and then draws trump. The last diamond must go on a spade. The last diamond cannot be ruffed because three rounds of trump must be drawn. If trump splits four-one or worse, declarer stops drawing trump when he gets the bad news. He then runs his clubs and spades. The player with the long trump must ruff in and declarer still has trump to ruff diamonds.

The result: Four hearts makes six if trumps are three-two as shown. However, if trumps are four-one, four hearts makes five and if trumps are five-zero, four hearts makes four.

North-South score plus 680.

Notes:

-The first major suit (after two clubs and two diamonds) introduced by either partner is always five cards in length or longer.

– South should bid out his hand and bid five clubs telling North he is very short in diamonds. North will correct to six hearts.

North-South score plus 1430.