A one-level re­sponse to an open­ing bid may be based on a four-card suit, so opener prefers four-card sup­port to raise. Some sys­tems

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Frank Ste­wart

re­quire it. But I ad­vo­cate rais­ing with good three-card sup­port in a suit­able hand. Auc­tions are eas­ier when a trump fit is es­tab­lished quickly.

If you open one club on Q 8 7, K 8 7, A 10 7, A J 6 5 and part­ner re­sponds one heart, bid 1NT. But if youopenon87,KQ6,A876,KQ 7 6 and hear one heart, a raise to two hearts is fine. You have three good hearts, prime val­ues and a pos­si­ble ruff­ing fea­ture.

A three-card raise may let you reach a good con­tract on a 4-3 fit. In to­day’s deal, North judged to raise South’s one-spade re­sponse. South hadn’t re­sponded in a red suit and would of­ten have a five­card spade suit.

Af­ter South leaped to four spades, West led the king of hearts. East won the se­cond heart and shifted to the nine of di­a­monds, and South took the ace.

If South had con­tin­ued with the three top trumps, he’d have gone down. (South couldn’t af­ford to con­cede the fourth trump, and if in­stead he started the clubs, East would ruff the fourth club, leav­ing South with a di­a­mond loser.) But at the fourth trick, South played a low trump from both hands. He won the di­a­mond re­turn, drew trumps and ran the clubs for 10 tricks.

East’s best de­fense is to lead an­other heart at Trick Three, but South can still suc­ceed. He dis­cards a di­a­mond, ruffs in dummy and takes the top trumps. He can then run the clubs to get rid of his last low di­a­mond as East ruffs with his high trump.

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