BRIDGE

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

Com­pet­i­tive auc­tions on shapely hands tend to swing a lot of imps and it is im­por­tant to have good agree­ments. This auc­tion started qui­etly but West’s 3D bid threw a span­ner in the works. Per­haps, West should have bid 4D but was hop­ing part­ner could bid 3NT. NS were play­ing cue raises so the 4D di­a­mond bid showed a full value raise to 4H but gave no hint of the di­a­mond short­age. Those with­out any agree­ment about cue raises will prob­a­bly sur­vive be­cause part­ner will in­ter­pret 4D as a short­age with at least game val­ues. It is not a good idea just to bid 4H be­cause, over the 5D bid which comes next, part­ner does not know whether North is just com­pet­ing to 4H or ac­tu­ally has a good hand. When East bids 5D, South has a prob­lem. Since the 4D bid gave a strong ex­pec­ta­tion that 4H will make, ex­pert prac­tice is to play ‘forc­ing pass’ here. If North had bid only 4H, the ex­pec­ta­tion that 4H would make would not be there, and forc­ing pass would not be on. Teams, none vul, Dealer East

South’s bids should now be that an im­me­di­ate 5H is the weak­est bid and dou­ble is penalty. Im­por­tantly, pass then 5H over part­ner’s forced bid, is the strong­est for­ward move. South is ex­pect­ing his side to have no wasted val­ues in di­a­monds and so the forc­ing pass is plau­si­ble. Now the spot­light shifts to North. In some mea­sure, North showed his val­ues with the 4D bid but with part­ner mak­ing the forc­ing pass, he must bid 6H since he has first round con­trol in three suits and the trump fillers.

West makes the un­sur­pris­ing lead of the ace of di­a­monds and South has to plan the play af­ter ruff­ing the DA. The en­try po­si­tion is such that only a 3-2 club split (68 per cent) can be han­dled so de­clarer has to play spades. The nor­mal play is to run the queen and then play the jack next what­ever hap­pens. This is about 86 per cent for three tricks. There is a safety play of first lead­ing to­wards the queen and, if it holds, lead­ing to­wards the jack next. Un­for­tu­nately, there is no side en­try to al­low this. How­ever, at the ta­ble, spades be­haved.

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