Ja­coby two no-trump: sup­port and power

Cecil Whig - - COMICS & PUZZLES - By Phillip Alder

Ja­coby Jones, who has played foot­ball for the Hous­ton Tex­ans and Bal­ti­more Ravens, com­mented, “I say my great­est strength is my speed, and I think that I could use some work on my con­cen­tra­tion.” Good bridge play­ers go very slowly at trick one and con­cen­trate on the cards. To­day, though, we are more in­ter­ested in Jones’ first name: Ja­coby. Oswald Ja­coby, one of the all-time great bridge play­ers, de­vised his epony­mous Trans­fers (which we stud­ied ear­lier this week) and the Forc­ing Raise (to­day’s topic). If part­ner opens one of a ma­jor, the next player passes, and re­spon­der bids two no-trump, he shows at least game-forc­ing val­ues with four or more trumps. In text­book Ja­coby Forc­ing Raise, the opener’s re­bids are strange; they are avail­able on the In­ter­net. But you can Keep It Sim­ple, Sen­si­ble, by mak­ing nat­u­ral re­bids, or, as South does here, jump­ing to game with a min­i­mum.

How should South play in four spades af­ter West leads the heart nine? On a bad day, de­clarer might lose one spade, two hearts and one club. Be­fore he plays from the dummy at trick one, he con­cen­trates on the lead. Since a nine is top of noth­ing, East has the heart ace-jack. To freeze out that suit, South must call for dummy’s queen. East wins with his ace, but can­not re­turn the suit with­out sac­ri­fic­ing a trick there.

Sup­pose East shifts to a club. West wins and leads the heart eight, but South takes the trick, draws two rounds of trumps, then plays off dummy’s club win­ners to dis­card his heart loser.

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