Two notrump is opened with 20 to 21 HCP’s and a balanced hand.
There are two schools of thought for this bid. It should be balanced, of course, but it may or may not have all of the suits stopped.
If one chooses to open a minor instead of 2 NT because a suit is unstopped, partner will likely pass with a flat four or five points.
Four or five points may be enough to make game opposite 2 NT. Therefore, such a descriptive bid should be used without all suits stopped as long as the hand is balanced.
North opens 2 NT and South, with six hearts, bids a Texas transfer to transfer partner to four hearts.
The contract: Four hearts by North
Opening Lead: Ace of diamonds
East leads the ace of diamonds, and West plays his lowest diamond, the five, to discourage a diamond continuation because he does not have a doubleton or the Queen.
Low cards discourage and high cards encourage in standard signals.
East switches to the four of spades because his partner will be finessed in spades by declarer if not by himself, and he wants a diamond led through the declarer.
Declarer wins the Jack and attempts to draw trump. He plays the king of hearts and West drops the queen of hearts.
The law of restricted choice states that when two touching honours are missing and one drops, it is more likely that the partner has the other one.
As a result, South plays a small heart to the 10 which holds. He cashes the ace and then plays spades.
He knows that East played the four, then the three, so he probably started with a doubleton. North is in a position to finesse West out of his spades and discard a diamond, but East trumps in and cashes the king of diamonds.
Declarer loses one heart and two diamonds making his contract.
Result: Four hearts making for +620
Warren Watson is an American Contract Bridge League silver life master and accredited teacher.
The Warfield resident created the Kootenay Jewel Bridge Club with duplicate games on Mondays at noon.