Crazy dis­tri­bu­tion, cau­tious re­bids

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - BY PHILLIP ALDER

Some­one pointed out that a good train­ing course will pre-empt many prob­lems. But at the bridge ta­ble, a pre-empt may cause many prob­lems — al­though some­times it is part­ner, not an op­po­nent, who suf­fers.

In this deal, what would you re­bid with the South hand? You open one di­a­mond (would you?), lefty over­calls two hearts, and it is passed back to you.

In the old days, South would have opened three no-trump to show a long, solid mi­nor and a trick or two on the side. Then, though, some­times the re­spon­der was un­sure whether to pass or to bid. Here, prob­a­bly North would have passed and hoped for the best, see­ing no bet­ter fu­ture in four di­a­monds. Nowa­days, though, the gam­bling three-no-trump open­ing prom­ises a solid mi­nor with no side ace, king or void.

This deal was played 10 times. Nine Souths cau­tiously re­bid three di­a­monds, which ended the auc­tion. (Ob­vi­ously, North won­dered if a club con­tract would prove to be more suc­cess­ful, but he had no safe way to find out.)

West took his high hearts, then led the heart two as a suit­pref­er­ence sig­nal for clubs. East ruffed and shifted to a club, which West ruffed. West led another heart, hop­ing his part­ner could ruff with the di­a­mond jack to ef­fect an up­per­cut, but de­clarer took the last nine tricks.

That three-di­a­mond re­bid was a tad too cau­tious. South ought to have taken a shot at three no-trump. Even if it ought to be de­feated, maybe the de­fense would not have been per­fect; and when it did make, there was the huge up­side of a game bonus.

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