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

Today’s deal is a hand type that haunts club play­ers: both part­ners have a good hand with two suits and will make a lot of tricks when they find a fit. The trou­ble is that some­times, as here, there is no fit! The auc­tion started rea­son­ably for the first three bids. The three heart bid was un­der­stood by this pair as be­ing a good two suiter but some of us might play it as a splin­ter bid, agree­ing clubs. Any­way 2H should be fourth suit forc­ing and then one can re­bid the hearts on the next round to show a real suit. As it went to this point, North re­flected that they had shown a 5-4 but had a 6-5 dis­tri­bu­tion and bid clubs again. South may have re­alised this and bid 4S which is a fine con­tract but North bid again, as many club play­ers do, be­cause they had no fit for spades and didn’t re­al­ize part­ner had ex­actly the same prob­lem. Now South fi­nally fell from grace and raised to 6C. This con­tract had no chance and drifted four off. So how would you bid this hand? Did you reach 6H or 6S?

The auc­tion is eas­ier if it goes more slowly af­ter South bids only 2H. Now North can bid 3C and has shown 10+ mi­nor suit cards and South is get­ting the pic­ture of a mas­sive mis­fit. At this point, South might rea­son­ably bid 3NT and play there. If South de­cides to bid 3H, North should bid 3NT to try to end the auc­tion. In an ideal world, South will re­al­ize that if the spade en­try is re­moved be­fore hearts are played, 3NT might be dif­fi­cult. On this ba­sis, South can cor­rect to 4S and that would be a good auc­tion. The im­por­tant thing on mis­fit hands is to stop the auc­tion as quickly as pos­si­ble. The other prob­lem is in play­ing mis­fits since get­ting from hand to hand can be a ma­jor prob­lem. If you man­aged to reach 6H or 6S, I have bad news for you. If the spades are not 3-3, you are not mak­ing these con­tracts and, as 3-3 splits only oc­cur 36 per cent of the time, you will go down most of the time! Go slowly when bid­ding a mis­fit!

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