FRANK STE­WART BRIDGE

Cape Argus - - LIFE -

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

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