BRIDGE

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

This hand shown in the next col­umn seems straight­for­ward but of­fers sev­eral points of in­ter­est. East has an easy 1D open­ing when play­ing strong no trumps. West might raise di­a­monds to the two or three level but nei­ther raise ex­presses the play­ing strength very well. While a di­a­mond raise might be good in teams, it is of­ten bet­ter to re­spond 1NT at pairs and get the high- scor­ing de­nom­i­na­tion into the pic­ture while deny­ing any four- card ma­jors. East would be happy to play in 1NT but North in­ter­venes with 2H. This is ex­tremely dan­ger­ous be­cause East might have up to a bal­anced 19 count and South might have next to noth­ing. With such a poor heart suit, the car­nage might have been hor­ri­ble but it hap­pened to be safe here af­ter West bid 3D over South’s thought­ful pass. An in­ter­ven­tion, with at least one op­po­nent com­pletely un­lim­ited, has to be based on a very good suit or on con­sid­er­able val­ues. With­out th­ese, it is bet­ter to wait for the auc­tion to stop and then one of your side can make a pro­tec­tive bid.

South led the AH and con­tin­ued with a sec­ond one. East dropped the 10H and JH but this should fool no­body since South, start­ing with A75 would lead the ace then the seven. Still, North did not give South a heart ruff and East ruffed the third round of clubs high, drew trumps and made nine tricks for a top. When South asked why there was no heart ruff, North replied that the slow pass over 2H made North think part­ner was think­ing about rais­ing hearts and, there­fore, South had three. There are two prob­lems with this. Firstly, it was en­tirely in­con­sis­tent with the play to the first two tricks. Se­condly, the Laws of Bridge al­low one only to take in­for­ma­tion from le­gal calls and plays. It is en­tirely il­le­gal to take in­for­ma­tion from the speed, or slow­ness, of part­ner’s ac­tion de­spite the fact that many play­ers view this as “good” psy­chol­ogy. When a player makes a break in tempo, their part­ner may not choose an ac­tion which is sug­gested by the vari­a­tion in tempo. When this oc­curs the di­rec­tor may need to ad­just the score.

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