FRANK STEWART BRIDGE
WINNING IN PHILLY
At the ACBL Spring NABC in Philadelphia, two old friends of mine, Clay Hall and Mark Jones of Birmingham, Ala., put on a finishing burst to win the IMP Pairs.
That form of competition has a degree of luck — some deals count for more than others — but to win any national title requires solid play.
As today’s East-West, Jones-Hall pounced on questionable bidding by their opponents. South’s response of one diamond was shaky, as was North’s free rebid of 1NT. If either player had passed, East-West might have played at a mundane notrump partial. Singleton Against two diamonds doubled, Hall led the king of hearts and shifted to the queen of clubs. Jones took three clubs and led his singleton spade. Declarer won in dummy and led the ace and a second trump.
Jones rose with his king, led a heart to Hall and ruffed the spade return. Then the lead of a fourth club promoted West’s jack of trumps for the third undertrick, and EastWest were plus 800 for a huge gain. Well judged! Daily Question
You hold: Spades J 10 8 6 2 Hearts A K 3 Diamonds J 4 2 Clubs Q 4. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade and he bids two clubs. What do you say?
Answer: You have enough values to invite game. That is why you chose the temporizing response of one spade. Bid three hearts. If your queen of clubs were the ace, you would bid four hearts. A bid of two hearts would show a weaker hand with only a tolerance for hearts: J 10 8 6 2, K 3, 7 6 5 4, Q 4. North dealer N-S vulnerable