Scottish Daily Mail

BRIDGE MAS­TER­CLASS

- PETER DONO­VAN

South ♠ Q 10 9 8 ♥ AK7 ♦ A72 ♣ J64 You open 1NT (12-14) and your part­ner re­sponds 3♠. What do you bid next? How of­ten do you hear a forc­ing re­sponse to your NT in your best suit and when you’re ab­so­lutely max­i­mum? Very rarely, so you must be care­ful not to waste the op­por­tu­nity by merely bid­ding 4♠ — you would do this with a spade less and ♥J in­stead of ♥K.

3♠ is a strong bid; tour­na­ment play­ers to­day use it even to show slam in­ter­est, as they have other means (via Stay­man or Trans­fers) to show lesser hands.

This is the time for you to use an ad­vance cue bid, which should be per­fectly ac­cept­able (even in so­cial rub­ber bridge cir­cles), be­cause it is a com­mon-sense bid.

when you now bid 4♦, you are agree­ing spades as the trump suit and show­ing max­i­mum strength with the ♦A.

This can­not log­i­cally be a nat­u­ral bid, be­cause you have al­ready lim­ited your hand and, with­out spade sup­port, you would surely have re­bid 3NT. The mes­sage to part­ner is that, if he is in­ter­ested in a slam, so are you.

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