East-West vulnerable

East-West vulnerable

Handling an unusual no-trump

Play Bridge: Tips and tricks for the bridge player, new to experienced.

A jump to two no-trump does not ever mean 20 to 21 points and a stopper in opponent’s suit. To show such a point count, one doubles and then bids strongly, probably to game.

A jump to two no-trump is reserved for a hand with two suits, five-five or better. Five-four sometimes works, but partner may not appreciate a four-two fit because he has two two cards in both of your long suits.

The rule of thumb is that with points, one conserves bidding room. So the unusual no-trump bid is frequently done with weak hands, less than opening. If one overcalls two no-trump and then makes a call other than pass at one’s next chance to bid, one is showing a very strong hand of 16 points or more, but that is rare.

The beauty of the bid is that one can push the opponents to the three-level with little risk. One should have a fit with partner with two five card suits.

The bidding: West with 13 points and five hearts opens one heart. After all, there does not exist a thirteen point hand I would not open. Overcalling is a different proposition. North with five-five in the minors and a weak hand jumps to two notrump. East goes to game because they have not discussed unusual versus unusual (the best defense to unusual notrump). South sees hearts making and bids five diamonds. He and North have a double fit. West passes, but this is a forcing pass. Partner must bid five hearts or double. West’s pass usually shows a minimum and no sure diamond winner. East lets the double stand because he does not think five hearts will make. One has to take any positive score they can get.

The contract: Five diamonds doubled by South

The opening lead: The jack of hearts

The lead of top of an interior sequence is usually done in no-trump only. The fourth best is the nine which is the bottom card of an interior sequence. So it is better to lead the top of the interior sequence. Here, this is fine because partner has supported them, and it is unlikely opponents would be saving (sacrificing) with the ace and queen of opponent’s suit.

The play: South wins the opening lead and leads a small diamond towards the dummy. This may pay dividends if East has the stiff ace and West pops up with the king. Declarer loses two diamonds, a spade and an ace of clubs for minus 300. Four hearts makes which would have been -620 for North and South. Five hearts goes down  so East and West got the best positive score they were allowed to get. Five hearts makes if West can set up spades before losing a club.

The result: Five diamonds doubled down two for -300.

Note: West could have tried to give partner a club ruff, however this is an extremely risky line of defense since West could set up North’s clubs without getting a ruff from partner. The lead of an ace from anything other than ace and king is usually not done.

Just Posted

Photo: Trail Times
Trail RCMP start June by nabbing impaired drivers

Latest brief from the Trail and Greater District police

“This is very costly to replace and it seems that Rossland is getting more and more theft and vandalism happening, which is really unfortunate,” says the commission’s Michelle Fairbanks. Photo: Submitted
Two plaques stolen from Rossland heritage square

The plaques were located at Washington and Columbia by the Olaus statue

No matter your age, the city’s two skate park hosts Jaryd Justice-Moote (left) and Brenden Wright can help you roll into a new pastime this “Summer at the Skatepark.” Photo: City of Trail
Free coaching at the Trail Sk8Park begins next month

The city is rolling into a summer of inclusive recreation by, for… Continue reading

Pastor Tom Kline
‘Why I became a Christian’ with Pastor Tom Kline

That night, a peace came over my heart that has remained from that day to this, 36 years later.

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters block Castlegar’s main street for 24 hours

Members of Extinction Rebellion stayed overnight in downtown Castlegar

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read