Shape and fit equal ex­tra tricks

The Hamilton Spectator - - LIVING - BY PHILLIP ALDER

Alexan­der Calder, who was par­tic­u­larly well-known for mo­biles, which he in­vented, said, “I paint with shapes.”

Bridge play­ers up­grade their hand’s value when it has a fit with part­ner and good shape.

Look at the North hand in to­day’s di­a­gram. Af­ter two passes, East opened one club, South over­called one heart, and West passed. What would have been your bid­ding plan with that North hand?

Be­ing a passed hand helps North be­cause South will not ex­pect a moose op­po­site. But the three-card heart sup­port, sin­gle­ton club and use­ful di­a­mond suit make this hand worth a strong game-in­vi­ta­tion. (Los­ing Trick Count ad­dicts will note that the hand has only seven losers: three spades, two hearts, one di­a­mond and one club. This would in prin­ci­ple jus­tify a game-force op­po­site an open­ing bid.)

North should bid two clubs, a cue-bid raise show­ing heart sup­port and a max­i­mum pass.

At the ta­ble, South, with eight losers, re­bid two hearts. Then, though, North con­tin­ued with three di­a­monds. This was suf­fi­cient for South, who jumped to four hearts.

West led a club. (Yes, per­haps he should have found the lethal trump lead.) East won with her queen and shifted to the heart seven. How should de­clarer have con­tin­ued?

South took West’s 10 with dummy’s king, crossed to the di­a­mond king, ruffed a club, played a spade to the ace, trumped the club jack, took the di­a­mond ace-queen for a spade pitch, ruffed the last di­a­mond, cashed the heart ace and claimed. De­clarer lost one spade, one heart and one club.

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