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#6 - Hugh's 'Hand of the Week' - Tuesday 19 July 2022

8 regular stalwarts reconvened for our regular Tuesday Session Debrief session.

To be honest, we found most of the hands today pretty lacklustre, but we enjoyed discussing some of the learning points from a few:-

  1. I played West, and some of my most interesting decisions were with very weak hands. Consider #26. Partner opens a strong 2NT…what should West do? It seems many passed (“with only 1 point”), and 2NT went very poorly!

    West must bid…best is 3H (transfer to Spades, to allow the lead to come round to the strong hand). Some Easts might revalue and now bid 4S. Other 

    Easts bid 3S, and West might bid 4S, maybe not. In fact, 4S makes (both minor aces on-side, singleton H). The critical point is West must bid 3H (or 3S, if not playing transfers).
  1. On #19, I had 3 points (and a void)…North opens 1D, East overcalls 2C,South responds 2D, West has choices….5C would be correct according to The Law of Total Tricks (but dangerous due to vulnerability!). 3C looks a bit passive….on reflection, 4C gets my vote, goes only 1 light and puts pressure on North.
  1. #23 created interest in the bidding….West opens 1C, North overcalls 1S (a bit light, but it works well)…what does East bid? Without a third S, 1NT is suspect. 2H is a stretch with effectively just 2 aces. Double, intending to rebid 2H is more accurate. When West rebids 2C, many would leave it there.5C makes, but is a very unlikely line of play (take AS on opening lead, finesse JD, re-enter dummy with KH to AH, finesse again QD, play AC, then AD and the fourth D, throwing dummy’s JS. North can only score 2 club tricks!
  1. Boards #6 and #7 both involve South jumping to 4 of a major. In #6, East opens (a cheeky) 1S. South must double, intending to rebid hearts (“double and speak”). When North responds 1NT, showing a balanced hand and at least 6 points, South should jump to 4H. In #7, South opens 1S (not enough to open 4S), and when partner responds 2C (showing 10+ points), South now plumps for 4S….North might consider exploring slam, but that would be unwise…in this situation, 4S is intended as a “shut-out” bid.

We also discussed the concepts (and misconceptions) of the “Cover an honour with an honour” philosophy. The guiding principle should be: to cover where there is a realistic possibility of promoting a trick, either in partner’s or one’s own hand”.

Consider 2 scenarios…dummy has Axx(x), and declarer leads J…with Qxx you should play low smoothly (declarer may have KJ109, or J109xx(x). But, with K10x, you should always cover, to promote your 10. The bidding may help assess your chances of promoting a trick in partner’s hand. A few “rules” were discussed…
          (a) always cover if you have a doubleton honour;
          (b) if covering 2 honours, cover the second, not the first;
          (c) don’t cover if you have more pips…e.g. Kxxx, and dummy has Axx.


How to reach 4H on board #14…and then make it?

South opens 1NT (12-14).

North needs to see the potential of this hand if partner has 4 hearts…so

North bids 2C Stayman…when South bids 2H, North re-evaluates, has only

7 losers, and so bids 4H (the play is a bit tricky…after trumping the 3rd roundmof Spades, N has no entries to enjoy the long diamonds, so must duck a round of diamonds before taking out trumps!! This line works every time Diamonds are split 3-2 (68% chance).

Comment: this is a hard hand to bid and play.


To veiw the hand records .... click here.

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