DAILY BRIDGE CLUB
You’re today’s East, and NorthSouth reach 3NT. South’s 2NT invites game, and since North has nine points — a maximum single raise — he accepts. He bids the ninetrick notrump game, not the 11-trick club game.
West leads the deuce of diamonds, dummy plays low and your king wins. To return your partner’s lead is tempting, but South surely has something in diamonds to bid 2NT, and since West’s lead suggests only four diamonds, a diamond return may not set up enough defensive tricks.
Say you brave partner’s wrath by shifting to a low spade: jack, queen, five. When he returns the seven, play low to keep communication. You hope he has an entry plus a third spade.
Sure enough, South has only eight tricks. When he loses a club finesse to the king, West leads his last spade, and you win and run your suit.
South could — maybe should — make 3NT by winning the first trick and finessing in clubs. Taking advantage of your opponents’ misguesses is part of winning.
You hold: ♠ KJ ♥ AQJ2 ♦ Q105 ♣ AJ 10 8. You open one club (your range for a 1NT opening is 15 to 17 points), and your partner bids one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?
Answer: Bid 2NT, promising 18 to maybe 20 points with balanced pattern. A bid of two hearts would be an error. Though that bid would be a “reverse” and would show substantial extra strength, it would suggest a more distributional hand: longer clubs than hearts.