BRIDGE MAS­TER­CLASS

Daily Mail - - News - PETER DONO­VAN

PLAY­inG Pairs, what do you bid on each of these hands af­ter part­ner makes an AS­TRO 2 ♣ over­call of the op­po­nent’s weak 1nT open­ing? FiRsT the re­minder that 2 ♣ is con­ven­tional, show­ing at least nine cards in hearts and a lower suit, but with no spec­i­fied hon­our point range. The only forc­ing response to an As­tro over­call is 2NT. it sim­ply asks part­ner to show his other suit — in this case ob­vi­ously one of the mi­nors. You’d be ex­pected to bid 2NT on each of the above hands — but for dif­fer­ent rea­sons.

hand (a) will ob­vi­ously play bet­ter in which­ever mi­nor part­ner holds, so with only a 9-count, pass part­ner’s 3 ♣ or 3 ♦ response. hand (b) and (c) each have 15hCPs so you’d hope to be in game un­less part­ner is abysmally weak. On (b) you’d bid 3 ♥ , show­ing 3-card sup­port for part­ner’s known an­chor ma­jor and invit­ing him to bid 4 ♥ . The last hand might be a bit tricky; you want to play in 3NT but, if part­ner responds 3 ♣ , it’s likely that you’re wide open in di­a­monds and you may have to set­tle for 4 ♣ — un­less you are a gam­bler! The As­tro hand which we’ve had all week was: ♠ 108, ♥ A10975, ♦ KQ752, ♣ 4. Note also that you’d be de­clarer in heart or NT con­tracts, so you’ll have the added bonus of the lead com­ing to your con­cealed hand. We’ll look at the fi­nal sit­u­a­tion to­mor­row.

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