Albuquerque Journal


- Bobby Wolff

“With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.”

— John Von Neumann .....................

Today we have another example of a fit bid. Having already passed over one diamond, West is known not to have a fair hand with long spades. So when he comes alive with two spades on the next round, facing a two-level overcall, he clearly has more than spades. He must have club tolerance, and he must be hoping to find a spade fit to outbid his opponents cheaply. East knows this and retreats to three clubs, given his lack of spade support. North then takes a guess and competes to three diamonds.

West’s club lead goes to East’s king. A second round of clubs is likely to stand up, but East must not cash it right away. He should first play a spade through, while his partner still has a potential club entry. Declarer wins with the ace and starts drawing trumps, but East can take the diamond ace and underlead in clubs to West, who cashes the spade king, and a spade ruff is the setting trick. With dummy’s strong hearts on display, East knows this is really the only chance for the defense.

Alternativ­ely, declarer might have played three rounds of hearts immediatel­y, to discard his second club. West would have ruffed the third and then played the spade king and another spade as before.

How did the fit-bid help here? If West competes to three clubs instead, East might be tempted to push to four clubs over three diamonds. He probably should not, but he might be persuaded by the adage “Six-four, bid one more.” As it was, though, the singleton in West’s suit was a turn-off.

ANSWER: It pays to get a strong suit into the bidding in third chair, even with substandar­d values. A weak two hearts could not only cause you to miss a spade fit, but also pinpoint the minor-suit honors for your opposition. I would open one heart. If my side four-card suit were a minor, I’d open two hearts.

If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, e-mail him at Copyright 2023, Distribute­d by Universal Uclick for UFS

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