Bridge mys­ter­ies may baf­fle a de­tec­tive

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - GOINGS ON -

A.A. Milne, in The Red House Mys­tery, wrote, “Like all re­ally nice peo­ple, you have a weak­ness for de­tec­tive sto­ries, and feel that there are not enough of them. So, af­ter all that you have done for me, the least that I can do for you is to write you one.”

Some bridge deals are like mys­tery sto­ries — what is the win­ning play or de­fense? Oth­ers just have a baf­fling as­pect. For ex­am­ple, in to­day’s deal, look only at the South hand. Af­ter three passes, South opens one club, West over­calls one heart, North passes, and East raises to two hearts. What should South do now?

Once you have de­cided, look at the North hand. Do you agree with the pass over one heart?

This deal was played at 16 Bridge Base On­line ta­bles. Over two hearts, an un­be­liev­able 11 Souths re­bid three clubs, which ended the auc­tion.

Why would you bid only three clubs with such a pow­er­ful hand? Yes, it is pos­si­ble that no game is mak­able, but you won’t know that un­til af­ter you see the dummy, and they pay a big bonus for bring­ing home a vul­ner­a­ble game. It should be clear to re­bid five clubs or three no-trump, both of which are easy to make. With a lot of win­ners, go for game.

Fi­nally, let’s look at North’s prob­lem. With seven points, he wants to bid, but noth­ing fits the bill. If he can­not bring him­self to pass, he should make a neg­a­tive dou­ble de­spite the lack of a fourth spade — and slide the club seven into his spades! Here, he would sur­vive this ex­per­i­ment un­less part­ner de­cided to gam­ble on six clubs, which can­not make.

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