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#10 - Hugh's 'Hand of the Week' - Tuesday 16 August 2022

12 Members discussed a number of interesting hands….I was East and there were many interesting hands along the theme of strong opening hands with minors. Let us look at a few…

  1. #23…after 3 passes I opened 1D. Some might open 2C…it fulfils the criteria…BUT, sometimes it is hard to show 2 suits if you open 2C, and you may end up in an inferior contract. After 1D, S overcalls 1S, W passes and N bids 2S. E now rebids 3C (obviously strong, given the bidding). West corrects to 3D. When E now bids 4D, he/she is very strong and W bids up to 5D. This makes, as N never gets on lead, and declarer only loses 2 major aces.
  1. #19…after 3 passes what should E open? 2NT is inappropriate because of 2 weak suits. I opened 1D, planning to reverse in 2H. 1D was passed in…I made 4, so the pass was correct. As it happens 3NT makes, but it shouldn’t be bid!
  1. What would you open on #18? Again, because of 2 suits, I opened 1D. S overcalled 1H, partner passed and N went 3H. You guessed it… I bid 3S (again showing great strength), so partner bid 4S. Neither of us dreamt of bidding to 6!
  1. On #15, East opened 1D after 3 passes. W responds 1H, E rebids 3C and W happily bids 3NT…which makes easily as S doesn’t get on lead.
  1. Does it always go well?...NO…this is bridge!! On #13, E opens 1C followed by 3 passes….it did not go well!
  1. We discussed Bergen raises…#2 is a good example. This works better with 5-card majors. Following an opening bid of 1 of a major, partner responds 3 of the major with 3-5 points, 3C with 6-9 points, and 3D with 10-12 points….ALL WITH 4-CARD TRUMP SUPPORT (with 5-card majors, this follows the Law of total tricks). I #2, W opens 1S, E responds 3C (alerted), showing 6-9pts and 4 spades. W invites with 3D, and E bids 4S. In fact, it shouldn’t make if N leads the singleton H, gets a ruff, and leads back a D for a second ruff!

HAND OF THE WEEK - Board # 9

Board #9 illustrates a number of different roads to the same destination…4S. At my table, N passed, I opened 1H (Rule of 20), S went 2C, W responded 2S, I then bid 2NT (playing SA), and W simply jumped to 4S. At some tables, N opens a cheeky 3D (weak pre-empts in the modern fashion can have 6 cards…but only in the minors…usually!). Now E probably stretches to overcall 3H, and W sees enough to jump to 4S. If N and E pass, S might open 3C!!

Now, W probably overcalls 4S directly. In each case, W sees a hand with 8 spades, at least 7 tricks and only 5 losers. When E bids, either as opener or as over-caller, W can reasonably expect an extra trick or 2. Put another way, If W can’t make 4S, NS likely have a good contract. This should be the thinking in scenario 3, above.

If you stopped in 4S, consider 4 next time with 8 trumps. Did you notice you can make 6S?? Of course, you need the AD on side, the spade finesse to make and the spades break as well….best to just bid 4S! The play is straightforward.

Click here to see the hands for Tuesday 16 August,

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