Goren on Bridge
Players will usually prefer to play game in an eight-card major suit fit rather than play in no-trump. That’s a good idea, but when the hand with the five-card major is otherwise balanced and his partner’s hand is completely balanced, nine tricks at no-trump might prove easier to take.
Today’s deal is from a team game. At this table, East won the opening spade lead with his ace and shifted to a low diamond, setting up three potential diamond tricks for himself. South won the shift with his queen and led the 10 of hearts to the queen and ace. He crossed back to his hand with a club to lead the nine of hearts. He was hoping West would cover and East would have a doubleton eight, but that hope vanished when West played the eight. Declarer rose with dummy’s ace and took his nine tricks — two spades, two hearts, one diamond, and four clubs. Making three!
At the other table, North-South “found” their eight-card heart fit. There were four certain losers and declarer never had a chance. Down one.
no-trump is often best when one player has a six-card minor suit. Be on the lookout for hands that might play better in notrump despite a five-three major suit fit. It is almost always right to play in a major with a four-four fit, unless both hands are “mirrored,” meaning they have exactly the same length in all four suits. Bob Jones welcomes readers’ responses sent in care of this newspaper or to Tribune Content Agency, LLC., 16650 Westgrove Dr., Suite 175, Addison, TX 75001. E-mail responses may be sent to email@example.com.
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