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

Club play­ers have a ten­dency to open a strong 2C on many un­suit­able hands. Ex­perts tend to play 2C as 23- 25 flat or any strong and game forc­ing hand. The lower limit for 2C is a hand where part­ner might pass a one level opener but game is still likely. This hand, from the semi­fi­nal of the NEC Cup last year, shows what might go wrong. In two rooms, South opened 1D be­cause there is no dan­ger of the hand be­ing passed out. The sub­se­quent auc­tions in those rooms were like:

West has shown a two suited hand via a Michael’s cue bid and, when part­ner has shown en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port, West makes an­other bid over 5C.

North reval­ued the mi­nor suit queens in one room and bid the di­a­mond slam. In an­other room ( not shown), North passed 5H and South pushed again with 5NT and North again reached the slam. Both de­fend­ers tried to put East in for a club ruff. The 9S was a fail­ure but a small heart was very suc­cess­ful!

In the other rooms, South de­cided to open a strong 2C and West took up as much space as pos­si­ble with­out be­ing too ex­posed to a large penalty. Rather than guess­ing to show di­a­monds, both Souths bid 4NT to show a two suiter. Now this bid might show both mi­nors for you but there is no ob­vi­ous rea­son for part­ner to choose di­a­monds rather than clubs.

In fact, for most ex­perts, 4NT shows any strong two suiter and any suit re­sponse is pass­able and part­ner only bids again with the other two suits. Thus, North will bid 5S ( or per­haps 5NT) and South bids 6C in case part­ner has hearts and clubs! This con­tract, un­like 6D, is not safe and went four off for 15 imps out.

The les­son is clear, start de­scrib­ing your suits as soon as pos­si­ble and avoid neb­u­lous bids like 2C as much as pos­si­ble.

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