BRIDGE

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

The Mil­ton Work point count method is known by all play­ers and pro­vides a good ini­tial val­u­a­tion of a hand. How­ever, it is best for bal­anced and semibal­anced hands and tends to un­der­es­ti­mate the value of a shapely hand. The hand shown here is such a hand. EW have only 16 hcp and a few short­age points ( but they have no di­a­mond ruff) and only fail to make four of a ma­jor be­cause the QH is off­side. NS with 24 points might make 6C or 6D if the di­a­monds can be picked up with­out loss but the ac­tual lay­out holds them to 10 tricks if the de­fence is on the ball. East prob­a­bly passes since it is nor­mal to re­ject a weak two bid with a 4 card ma­jor on the side. South is too weak to open 1NT and so opens one of a mi­nor. The tra­di­tional method is to open 1C with 3- 3 and 1D with 4- 4 in the mi­nors so 1D might be the ma­jor­ity call. How­ever, many are play­ing 1C as 2 or more cards and 1D as 5 or more ( un­less 4441 pre­cisely) and they will open 1C as shown. North de­cided to show his hand by bid­ding di­a­monds and then clubs. For me, 3C would be in­vi­ta­tional but not forc­ing and I think this hand will play well enough to jus­tify a force. What bid to choose is a prob­lem. A bid of 2H would be in­ter­preted as a stop­per since, with mi­nor suit fits, bids be­low 3NT are at­tempts to get into 3NT. Bids of 4C and 4D should be forc­ing and may be just set­ting the suit or even be RKC for that mi­nor. There is no point in them be­ing non- forc­ing be­cause it is wrong if there are 9 or 11 tricks or if 3NT makes and you are bet­ting that there are pre­cisely 10 tricks in di­a­monds. What­ever hap­pens, you should reach 5C or 5D. Should EW get into this auc­tion? West might bid 1S over 1D and East might bid to show both ma­jors af­ter 1D? and then they will find their spade fit. No mat­ter what the auc­tion, West will lead an un­bid suit and they will play spades ei­ther at trick 1 or 2. If East is on lead, they should lead a spades and keep the AH for a pos­si­ble en­try to cash the spade win­ner be­fore it goes on the long mi­nor.

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