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Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - DIVERPRESS, NS -

East-West vul­ner­a­ble. North deals. NORTH ♠ K7 ♥ J5 ♦ A Q J 10 ♣ K Q 10 5 3 EAST ♠ J53 ♥ K942 ♦ 8654 ♣ A8 SOUTH ♠ A Q 10 9 4 ♥ 863 ♦ K73 ♣ J7

The bid­ding: NORTH EAST SOUTH WEST 1 ♦ Pass 1 ♠ Pass 2 ♣ Pass 2 ♠ Pass 3 ♠ Pass 4 ♠ All pass

Open­ing lead: 2 of ♠

Off-shape no trump open­ings are be­com­ing more and more com­mon. Hands with 5-4-2-2 or 6-3-2-2 dis­tri­bu­tions were not sup­posed to open one no trump in the good old days, but things are chang­ing. The re­sults are not al­ways good.

To­day’s deal was played at the re­cent South Amer­i­can Cham­pi­onships. Many play­ers opened one no trump with the North hand and the re­sult never var­ied. South trans­ferred to spades and re­bid three no trump, end­ing the auc­tion. A club lead and a heart shift ended mat­ters quickly. It may seem harder for the de­fence on a heart lead, as West must shift to a club af­ter four rounds of hearts, but North had to dis­card a club or two on the run of the hearts, help­ing the de­fence find the win­ning shift. Note that East can­not cash the ace of clubs at trick two be­fore re­turn­ing a heart, as de­clarer might hold three hearts to the queen.

Some play­ers re­fused to open one no trump with this dis­tri­bu­tion. They opened one club and re­versed into two di­a­monds if they judged the hand strong enough, or they bid as in the given auc­tion.

They all reached four spades need­ing only for the jack of trumps to fall in two or three rounds. This was quite a rea­son­able chance for suc­cess, as op­posed to no chance at all in three no trump. The old school wins! Bob Jones welcome read­ers’ re­sponses sent to Tri­bune Con­tent Agency, LLC., 16650 West­grove Dr., Suite 175, Ad­di­son, TX 75001. Email re­sponses may be sent

to tcaed­i­tors@tri­bune.com

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