BRIDGE

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

Very strong hands can be dif­fi­cult to bid when you get to open the bid­ding, but of­ten be­come nearly im­pos­si­ble when you are the over­call­ing side. This hand oc­curred re­cently and we did not han­dle it well af­ter West opened 1D. North’s dou­ble is a good start. The idea of us­ing the cue bid of 2D as any strong hand died about 60 years ago and it is now, most com­monly, used as a Michaels cue bid show­ing both ma­jors. South’s re­sponse of 1H is cor­rect. The ma­jor is pre­ferred to clubs and, since a jump to 2H would show 8- 11, this shows 0- 7 hcp. North now has a dif­fi­cult bid since 2S would show a sin­gle suited hand with 17- 20 hcp. Higher spade bids would also be sin­gle suited but with more play­ing strength rather than more high cards. To show a game force with more high cards, North would first re­bid 2D. The ac­tual choice of 1S is rea­son­able if it doesn’t get passed. Un­for­tu­nately, that is what hap­pened here but West had a mo­ment of in­san­ity and re­bid 2D giv­ing North a sec­ond chance. Hav­ing de­cided to pass on the sec­ond round, West should stay silent for­ever. North’s choice of 3C sounds like a hand which is 5- 4 in the blacks with 17- 20 hcp and South seems to have an easy pass of 3C. A bet­ter choice would be 4C. South has shown no val­ues so far and 4C takes the auc­tion to the 4 level so North is show­ing a 2 suiter with 17- 20 hcp and suf­fi­cient play­ing strength to make 10 or 11 tricks in the pre­ferred suit. Now South will bid 5C since they can see at least one spade ruff and maybe a heart trick. I can’t see any con­vinc­ing auc­tion to reach 6C. We didn’t do well on the hand but the other pairs strug­gled as well. One pair sup­pressed the clubs and played in 4S mak­ing 12. At an­other ta­ble, both suits were shown and they landed in the re­spectable 5C mak­ing 12. One pair, where I sus­pect North dou­bled and re­bid 3S, played there and an­other pair clearly had a ma­jor mis­un­der­stand­ing as North played in 2D. At the end of the day, 3C mak­ing 13 was an un­de­served mid­dle board!

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