Auc­tion echo can be re­in­forc­ing

The Hamilton Spectator - - LIVING - BY PHILLIP ALDER

Gene Luen Yang, a writer who used to teach high school com­puter sci­ence, said, “In my class­room, I would start my lessons with a quick re­view of an old topic. Then, I would in­tro­duce a new topic. Fi­nally, I would give my stu­dents a prob­lem to solve on their own, one that would re­in­force what I’d just taught.”

That is an ex­cel­lent ped­a­gogic method em­ployed in this col­umn — I think! How would you critique the auc­tion? (If you use two-over-one game-forc­ing, how would you bid?)

Af­ter South re­sponded two di­a­monds (the higher-rank­ing of two five-card suits first), North should have re­bid a forc­ing two hearts, not jumped to three hearts. South’s two-over-one re­sponse guar­an­teed a sec­ond bid (un­less North leapt to game and South thought a slam was im­pos­si­ble). Then South sen­si­bly re­bid three no-trump. Now North should have bid four di­a­monds, over which South could have signed off in four no-trump or, if ner­vous that part­ner would have thought it was Black­wood, raised to five di­a­monds.

What should three hearts mean? I treat it as a splin­ter bid, show­ing four- or five-card di­a­mond sup­port, a good hand and a sin­gle­ton or void in hearts.

In two-over-one, the auc­tion is one spade - one no-trump - two hearts - two no-trump - three di­a­monds (or three notrump) - three no-trump - pass.

Against three no-trump, East knew from part­ner’s fourth­high­est club-two lead that de­clarer had five clubs, but no shift looked sen­si­ble. So she won with her ace and re­turned the queen. South took that trick, drove out the di­a­mond ace, and claimed 11 tricks.

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