BRIDGE

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

When choos­ing to play a se­quence as con­ven­tional, one must be aware of what is lost when a bid is no longer nat­u­ral. It is com­mon to play the se­quence 1C-( 1H)- X as show­ing four spades and 1C-( 1H)- 1S as show­ing five, or more, spades. The prob­lem with that ar­range­ment can be seen in the hand shown. West does not have enough to bid 2D and, since 1C shows 2+ cards, a club raise is out of the ques­tion. Hav­ing no sen­si­ble bid, West has to pass for the mo­ment and hope to re- en­ter the auc­tion later. That hap­pens safely here but if North had raised to 2H, which seems a bet­ter choice than 1NT, then the late re- en­try at the 3 level might be less ap­petis­ing. A safer treat­ment is to play dou­ble as not hav­ing four spades and 1S as show­ing 4+ spades. It is safer since it al­lows im­me­di­ate en­try to the auc­tion, on all hands, and re­moves the dan­ger of be­ing shut out. Ei­ther of th­ese would have al­lowed West to make a first- round bid and not be shut out by a North mak­ing the book raise to 2H. Not show­ing the 8 card fit stops South mak­ing any fur­ther con­tri­bu­tion to the auc­tion. For me, it is mas­ter­mind­ing since North re­serves all fur­ther de­ci­sions for him­self. Af­ter North did not raise hearts, West could com­fort­ably re- en­ter the auc­tion with a dou­ble. East bid 2S and this con­tract, al­though make­able, proved too dif­fi­cult at the ta­ble. Af­ter the KH lead and a club switch, East tried for a 3- 3 trump split and 5 di­a­mond tricks but with the 4- 2 split, lost con­trol and went one down when cut off from the last di­a­mond by a late ruff. There was a much safer con­tract avail­able and East might have re­flected that West, play­ing the com­mon ver­sion of this treat­ment, had not dou­bled 1H. East then knows that West does not have 4 spades and must, there­fore, be of­fer­ing a choice of con­tracts in the mi­nors. With this inference, it is easy to bid 2D here ( or 2C if opener has some length there). If North be­lat­edly raises to 2H, West will find a 3D bid and that con­tract will be made eas­ily as the cards lie.

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