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#13 - Hugh's 'Hand of the Week' - Tuesday 27 September 2022

Seven members reconvened for a session debrief. This week’s hands were very difficult, and generated a lot of discussion. A selection….

  1. #3 is a simple example of good accurate bidding. N has a good hand and opens 1H. E has a standard 1S overcall. S and W dutifully pass. N has extra values and shape, and so rebids 2C. E has nothing further to say. What does S bid? Having already denied >5 points, and with a solid 6 card suit and disinterest in partner’s 2 suits, 2D is a good bid. N knows partner has a 6+ card suit, and no points, so should pass. 2D makes comfortably.
  1. The bidding on #9 caused a lot of angst around the room. N has a strong shapely hand, many opened 2C….but what is the rebid if partner responds 2D? Better, I believe, is 1C. S responds 1D. This bid tends to deny a 4-card major, unless the hand is strong enough to rebid a major later. N faces a dilemma…what to rebid. Some might bid 2H, a “jump reverse”, others might opt for 2NT despite the D void. The latter works better and 3NT, though difficult to play, is the easiest contract to make. 1C-1D-2H-3NT-4S shows the N hand well, but 4S is even harder to play (ruffing both clubs and hearts to get two entries, in order to make 2 diamond tricks)…very hard all round.
  1. What to lead on boards #13 and #14? On #13, S opens 1D, W overcalls 1H, and N doubles (to show 4 spades…1S would show 5+ spades). S jumps to 2S, passed out. On many tables, W led 6H (4th highest)…I would suggest this is a poor lead, from such a “porous” suit. A spade lead is equally bad, as it likely would lose a trick in many circumstances. Best is the singleton 6D, with second prize going to QC. On #14, S opens 1D and rebids 2NT, raised to 3NT, after N responds 1H and later shows spades. Against 3NT, what should W lead? 3 suits have been bid, clubs is the unbid suit, and so QC, top of doubleton, is appropriate, and works out really well…E/W take the first 6 tricks!
  1. Accurate defence reaps rewards on #21. N opens 1S, S raises to 3S, and there the bidding stops. E leads…the singleton 8C, taken by W’s Ace, and returned for the first ruff. By returning the lowest, 2C, W is making a suit preference signal, indicating E should return a diamond. W plays the KD (strongly suggesting AD), and sends 4C across for another ruff. E returns another diamond to the Ace, and a fourth club forces declarer to ruff high. E still gets the AH, and the contract goes 2 light.



Board #6 is a straightforward slam in hearts…but many did not bid it. S always opens 1H… what does N respond? Without a “gadget”, the standard response would be 2C, and it would be hard to find slam from there.

There are 2 options for N: (i) best is a splinter 4D (showing 4-card support in hearts, singleton or void in D, points for game in hearts, and maybe an interest in slam). When S hears that, and a Roman Keycard Blackwood 4NT gets a response of 5S (showing AC and KQ hearts), even 7H looks promising!

Alternatively, N might Jakoby with 2NT over 1H (showing points for game and 4+ hearts). S bids 3C, showing a singleton or void, N bids 3D cue bid, and again S is off with 4NT.

It is easy to make 6H, losing 1 spade trick. Note how these gadgets keep coming up!


Click here to see the hand records for the hands discussed above.

Debrief will not happen next week, because of Congress.

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