With a de­ci­sion, an­a­lyze al­ter­na­tives

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - GOINGS ON -

Henry Kissinger said, “The ab­sence of al­ter­na­tives clears the mind mar­velously.”

Dur­ing a bridge deal, if there is only one sen­si­ble bid or play, you will feel mar­velous. How­ever, when there are al­ter­na­tives, you need to think clearly.

In to­day’s deal, look at the South hand. He opens one di­a­mond, and part­ner re­sponds one spade. What should South re­bid? What are his al­ter­na­tives?

South has four choices: two hearts, two no-trump, three di­a­monds and three no-trump.

Two hearts is a strength-show­ing re­verse; it is fea­si­ble, but South does not have four hearts. A fake re­verse should be a last-choice des­per­ate mea­sure. Two no-trump prom­ises a bal­anced hand; North will ex­pect at least two spades. Three di­a­monds is a big un­der­bid, in­di­cat­ing 14-plus to 17-mi­nus points. That leaves the right re­bid: three no-trump. In prin­ci­ple, this shows 18-19 points, at least six good di­a­monds, stop­pers in the un­bid suits and, of­ten, a sin­gle­ton in part­ner’s suit — nearly per­fect.

At the ta­ble, over three no-trump, North re­bid four di­a­monds, rec­og­niz­ing the power of his good trump fit and two first-round con­trols. South con­trol-bid five clubs, and North jumped to six di­a­monds.

West led the heart six, sec­ond­high­est from a weak suit. De­clarer ruffed on the board, cashed the di­a­mond king and played a club to his queen. This lost, and West shifted to a spade, but South won with dummy’s ace, drew East’s last trump with the di­a­mond jack and led the club 10. When East cov­ered with the jack, de­clarer claimed.

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