Daily Mail

BRIDGE MASTER­CLASS

- PETER DONO­VAN

WHAT do you bid next as North in the above auc­tion?

THERE is an old say­ing that ‘the five-level be­longs to the op­po­nents’. I un­der­stand this to mean that, once you have suc­cess­fully pushed the op­po­nents to a level higher than nec­es­sary for their con­tract, you leave well alone. And, if you are the one that is pushed to the five-level, you never al­low your­self to be pushed fur­ther. I know that sev­eral play­ers would be ir­re­sistibly tempted to bid 5 ♠ on this hand, but that would be quite wrong for var­i­ous rea­sons.

(A) Part­ner has al­ready passed, so his hand wasn’t even suit­able for an ini­tial pre-empt.

(B) At the favourable vul­ner­a­bil­ity, he is ob­vi­ously try­ing to get the op­po­nents too high, know­ing that he can af­ford to be three down if their game is on.

(C) You are cer­tain to be dou­bled in 5 ♠ and con­cede a penalty, when you have a very good chance of de­feat­ing 5 ♥ . Part­ner has done his bit to sab­o­tage the op­po­nents, so don’t spoil the party by turn­ing a po­ten­tial top into a bottom.

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