Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PUZZLES - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

There is a ten­dency amongst some play­ers to bid in what one might call a “crawl­ing style” and the hand shown is an ex­am­ple of this folly. Prac­ti­tion­ers of this method bid just enough at each level and even­tu­ally, re­luc­tantly, reach game and usu­ally go down. This style is too kind to your op­po­nents. They get room to dis­cover any fits and how strong they are and then are given a free choice of bid­ding on or dou­bling you. When South pro­duced the fatu­ous 1S over­call, West de­cided that her length com­pen­sated for the lack of high cards and in­tro­duced the heart suit. East can now see at least 12 tricks ( es­pe­cially if part­ner has the ex­pected KQD) and pro­ceeds to check key­cards to bid a grand slam. South be­lat­edly tries to be a nui­sance but the only rea­son the grand slam is not bid is that EW do not have any agree­ment about in­ter­fer­ence over Black­wood. One com­mon agree­ment is DOPI ( Dou­ble shows 0, Pass shows 1). With that agree­ment, East could have bid 7H.

The play in 7H is sim­ple, but the main in­ter­est is in how South should have bid.

South has a 12 count and ex­pects much the same from East and so, on av­er­age, ex­pects about 8 hcp from part­ner which are un­likely to be the cor­rect cards for a slam. Also, it is clear South must worry about whether EW have a huge heart fit when South has lit­tle or no de­fence against a heart con­tract. Thus, it is clear that South’s first bid should be 4S. Now, the whole auc­tion changes. West and North will pass. East, with such a strong hand, has a clear take­out dou­ble. With so few high cards, very few Wests will bid more than 5H and the slam will be missed due to the 4S over­call.

Lastly, note that 1C is the cor­rect open­ing bid on the East hand. It is not strong enough to in­sist on game by open­ing 2C and is easy to ex­press with a re­verse ( 1C- 1S- 2H) or a jump in a new suit ( 1C- 1D- 2H).

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