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

Bid­ding af­ter part­ner opens a weak two seems to be a prob­lem for many play­ers. They count their points to try to es­ti­mate what to do when it is much eas­ier to count tricks. When part­ner makes a weak two bid, as­sume they have two of the top three hon­ours to six cards. This is ba­si­cally the play­ing strength that a weak two prom­ises. There should be lit­tle out­side as a weak two si­mul­ta­ne­ously shows lit­tle in the way of de­fen­sive val­ues. While it is cer­tainly true that many weak twos don’t meet th­ese guide­lines, it still of­fers a good es­ti­mate of what to bid since a miss­ing trump hon­our will be re­placed by a side suit hon­our. In the hand shown, most Easts opened an off cen­ter weak two and West placed them with AQxxxx in hearts. West can then see 6 heart tricks, 3 club tricks and one di­a­mond trick with 3 top losers and so bids 4H. This con­tract ap­pears to have four losers but watch what hap­pens. In most matches, South led the AD in­tend­ing to play for a third round ruff.

Teams, none vul, Dealer N

De­spite the strong clubs in dummy, most de­fend­ers con­tin­ued di­a­monds and East dis­carded his spades on the club suit. De­clarer can now ruff a spade and lead a heart to­wards the king and make the con­tract. How­ever, it is pos­si­ble for the de­fend­ers to beat the con­tract. South can see that if East has the QH, there is no way to beat the con­tract ( re­mem­ber that in teams you must try to beat the con­tract, over­tricks are unim­por­tant). It is, thus, proper to place that card in part­ner’s hand. Hav­ing done that, South can see that East can­not over- ruff North when the fourth club is led. Even though the fourth club is the high­est re­main­ing club, North can see the need to ruff with the QH. This is be­cause North knows that South started with two di­a­monds, else there was no sense in con­tin­u­ing di­a­monds at trick two. In­deed, a non­con­tin­u­a­tion would look like a sin­gle­ton ace. So, North re­turns the third di­a­mond which South can ruff with the 9H and the AH fur­nishes the set­ting trick.

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