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#9 - Hugh's 'Hand of the Week' - Tuesday 9 August 2022

7 Members discussed interesting hands, and touched on a basic DEFENCE Principle…. 

  1. There were 2 7H contracts today, both of which can be bid and made with confidence. In #7, West opens 1D, E responds 1H. W rebids 2S (a jump shift showing a good hand), and E now bids 3C (4th suit forcing, not necessarily showing clubs, but showing a good hand, and possibly interest in slam). This bid asks W “where are we going?”  West can now show their 3 hearts with a 3H bid, E confirms (at least 5) hearts with 4H, and W bids 4NT (Roman Key Card)…when E bids 5C (3 or 0 key cards in hearts), W knows it must be 3, and they must be AK of hearts and A clubs. With their strong Diamond suit, to deal with any spade losers, 7H is a good bid and easily makes. The 2nd Grand Slam is our Hand of the Week…see below.
  1. #10 introduces some defence conventions (“low encourage”). At most tables, the bidding goes 1S by E, 1NT by W, pass, pass, pass. With 4 cards to KQ, it is usual for N to lead the KD. South encourages with 4D, N then leads 2D to Ace, and back…4 D tricks. What should S Discard on the 4th D? S has 2 choices…a low 3H (encouraging) is probably better…the alternative, 9C (high discouraging) does not specify whether to lead a spade (bad!) or a heart (good!). As it stands, a H lead takes the contract 1 light. If 9C is played, and a H is played, it goes 2 light….but if a S is played it makes 2NT!!
  1. #19 poses some bidding challenges for EW after S opens 1C…W should pass…what does E bid? Michael’s cue bids are often useful…here a 2C bid would show 5/5 in D and a major (but it is usually played as either weak or very strong, game force). If used, the bidding would go 2C by E, 2S by W (better major), 3D by E, 3NT by W. Alternatively, E could just Double (“double and speak”…strong), W bids 2S (jump to show 9+pts), E bids 3H, and W goes to 3NT…”All roads lead to 3NT”!
  1. How to bid #25? N opens 1H, E overcalls 1S…what should S bid? 1NT is not good because Jxx is not a good enough S stopper. There is not enough support to bid 2H. Pass is unattractive with 9 points, and 2D shows a slightly stronger hand. The answer?...a take-out double. The double shows at least 6 points at the 1 level, it denies S and H. Here it is enough for N to jump to 4H, which makes. If E does not bid, S just bids 1NT, again showing 6-9 points, and N jumps to 4H.


As above, another 7H hand…but how to bid? (my opponents found it!!). E opens 1H. W has a strong hand with good H support. Best is Jakobi 2NT(guarantees 4 Trumps and points for game…at least!). There are various response systems from here – best is:

3 of the opened major shows 17+ points.
3NT shows 14-16 points.
4 of the opened major shows 11-13 points.
3 of another suit shows a singleton, or void.
4 of another suit shows a strong second suit, at least 5 cards, and 2 of top 3 honours.

On this hand, W responds 2NT, E goes 3D (singleton), then 3S, 4C, 4D, all cue bids.  

E now bids 4NT (Roman Keycard Blackwood). W responds 5C (3 or 0), E knows it’s 3 and bids 5NT (we have all the key cards, partner…4 aces, K and Q of hearts…do you have anything else?). When W bids 6D to show AK of diamonds, E can see how to get rid of the spade loser, crosses fingers and bids 7H. Hearts break, and so the play offers no challenges.



As Declarer, with AJx opposite xxx in dummy, and K of this suit led, what do you do?

Often you would calmly play low, the only way to make 2 tricks in that suit. If Leader, now emboldened by the fact the K held, leads low, Declarer wins both A and J! How do the defence avoid this? On the first lead, many play low encourage. If partner leads K, the critical question is “do you have the A or J…is it safe for partner to continue that suit?” If you have either A or J play low…if not, play high…

Click here to to see the hand records for the Tuesday session on 9 August.

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