BRIDGE

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

When you pick up a very dis­tri­bu­tional hand, you ex­pect a dif­fi­cult, com­pet­i­tive auc­tion. This shapely hand oc­curred at Eastern Shore BC re­cently.

Per­haps you should con­sider what North should do be­fore read­ing on. North’s open­ing bid is clear; with 7- 5 shape there is no at­trac­tion in start­ing with 1H. West’s 2NT bid showed spade sup­port in a good­ish hand. With 7- 5, it must cer­tainly be right for North to bid 3H or 4H at this point. Note that the ex­tra play­ing strength comes from the long heart cards and not from the void which takes no tricks that were not al­ready present as long trumps.

South clearly has a weak hand with di­a­mond sup­port but not enough to bid 2D on the first round. Can NS make 6D? It seems we will lose one spade and, at least, one heart. Can they make 5S? There must be a good chance that we don’t have a de­fen­sive di­a­mond trick so it seems they will make 5S. It seems that we should sac­ri­fice in 6D ex­pect­ing to go one or two off but there is a nag­ging worry that they might feel forced to bid 6S which will make if one of them has a di­a­mond void.

Now, at last, an epiphany! South is go­ing to lead a di­a­mond un­less we can di­vert her at­ten­tion to clubs and then we can look for­ward to a club ruff at trick one and cash­ing the AH at trick 2. The cor­rect bid at this point is ob­vi­ous when you think of it. Bid 6C which must be a lead di­rect­ing ef­fort since we have agreed di­a­monds. Af­ter this, we can sac­ri­fice in 6D with­out wor­ry­ing about 6S mak­ing.

The op­po­nents duly dou­bled South’s cor­rec­tion to 6D and it was easy to play for one off.

If you didn’t like West’s 2NT bid, nei­ther did I! A splin­ter bid of 4D seems clearly cor­rect show­ing the di­a­mond short­age and mild in­ter­est in go­ing be­yond game.

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