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

On hands like the one shown, it is im­por­tant not to start with a strong two bid. These use too much space and make it dif­fi­cult to ex­press your shape. Open­ing one spade is ideal. If part­ner has enough for game, they will re­spond to a one bid and, if they pass, the other side will usu­ally back into the auc­tion. As it hap­pens, part­ner re­sponds 2C show­ing 11+ HCP and four or more cards. Now the jump re­bid of 3S makes the auc­tion forc­ing to game. It also de­nies a sec­ond suit since you would bid an­other suit if you had one. Since part­ner knows you don’t have a sec­ond suit, it is clear that the 4D bid is not an at­tempt to find an­other fit and so it must be a cue bid. This sug­gests slam in­ter­est. It is not clear which twelve tricks are avail­able but the club suit will prob­a­bly pro­vide them. Af­ter check­ing there are not too many top losers, South bids the slam. Rather than mak­ing an ad­ven­tur­ous lead from a red suit hon­our, West de­cides to make a quiet trump lead. This is safe since he knows that any miss­ing trump honours are on­side and de­clarer will al­ways pick them up nat­u­rally. De­clarer can count eleven tricks com­pris­ing six spades, two hearts, two clubs and one di­a­mond. Most club play­ers would draw trumps and take the heart fi­nesse and make or go down depend­ing on the po­si­tion of the KH. Bet­ter play­ers will see that there is also a chance that the clubs are 3- 3 and that the thir­teenth club will pro­vide a heart dis­card in­stead of the risky heart fi­nesse. This is only a 36% chance but you can try for the 3- 3 break and, when it fails, the heart fi­nesse will win 50% giv­ing a 68% to­tal chance which is much bet­ter than the heart fi­nesse alone. Thus, de­clarer should draw trumps, play the heart ace and then ace, king and an­other club. If the clubs are not 3- 3 ( or QJ dou­ble­ton), win the re­turn and take the heart fi­nesse. The key is that two chances are much bet­ter than one but you must try them in the cor­rect or­der!

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