BRIDGE

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

Club play­ers seem to mis­use the strong 2C bid of stan­dard sys­tems. This oc­curs in two ways. Open­ing 2C on 19+hcp is too lit­tle and re­spond­ing pos­i­tively with too lit­tle is the other. The 2C opener should be a flat hand with 23+hcp or any shapely hand where opener wants to reach game so game bid­ding is easy and the neg­a­tive 2D bid is re­ally say­ing that you are not im­me­di­ately in­ter­ested in slam. All other re­sponses sug­gest that slam is close. In the ac­tual auc­tion, North could have re­cov­ered by bid­ding 3NT and would have ex­pressed all his val­ues and all his shape but over­bid slightly to 6NT. To be fair, South was a touch light for the 2NT re­sponse. West led the DK and when dummy came down, the con­tract was clearly poor. There are four tricks in each black suit and two red aces so de­clarer needs to find two more. If there hadn’t been a di­a­mond lead, de­clarer would play hearts (small to the nine and then run the jack) for about a 50 per cent chance of mak­ing but would be un­lucky here.

How­ever, with the ac­tual lead, the heart fi­nesse needs to be on­side to get to eleven tricks. Be­ing one short is the sign for a squeeze so duck the lead to rec­tify the loser count and win the con­tin­u­a­tion with the DA, cross to the SQ and run the HJ. At the ta­ble, West ducked and now re­peat­ing the fi­nesse gives twelve tricks. What if West cov­ers? Win the ace, un­block the spades and run the clubs, fi­ness­ing the CJ on the third round and West is in trou­ble on the last one and has to con­cede a third red win­ner giv­ing the con­tract! The duck at trick one is the key to this hand!

Pairs, EW vul, Dealer North

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