xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40"> Mountnessing Bridge Club

Mountnessing Bridge Club

 

 

Board 13: An awkward opening bid

 

 

Hand played on 

15th February 2007

Board number 13

Red Section

Dealer

North

Vulnerability

Both

Submitted by

Alaric Cundy

 

 

 

North

Q8

AQJT2

K

AKQ83

 

 

 

 

West

KT964

87

AJ6

962

 

East

J5

K4

Q843

JT75

 

 

 

 

 

North

 

 

 

Bidding: 

 

East

 

 

 

 

 

South

 

 

 

 

 

West

 

 

South

A732

9653

T975

4

 

 

2

2NT

3

No

No

No

2

3

4

No

No

End

 

 

So how would you choose to open the North hand?  No doubt devotees of strong 1 systems would tell me that it's easy, but playing the ACOL style nothing is ideal.  A one-level opening would be a severe underbid, but on the other hand it is not ideal for a strong 2 / 8-playing trick opener (which in these days of weak two openings, few people play anyway).  It is not quite good enough for an ACOL 2 opener either.  A compromise is required somewhere...

 

At the table, North / South were playing a 3-way Multi, and one of the options allows for a balanced / semi balanced hand with 20 - 22 High Card Points and a 5-card major.  North decided that was the least bad option, and it worked out well here.  The 3 bid asks 'which major'.  The only potential snag with this bidding was that South finished up as Declarer, but actually as things turned out that proved to be helpful for NS...

 

West chose to start with the Ace of Diamonds, and then switched to a spade.  Actually, the defence is almost immaterial here, as by ruffing one club, three discards can be set up to take care of three losing spades in the South hand, and then courtesy of the 2-2 trump break, South can ruff one club to establish the suit, and then ruff Dummy's second spade in the wash.  All Declarer will lose is the King of hearts and the Ace of diamonds.  The 'free' spade trick at trick two doesn't actually cost the defence, and West was right to spot that the defence needed two top tricks in that suit if the contract was to be beaten.

 

If North finishes up as Declarer, West has the opportunity to create a third trick for the defence, by starting with the Jack of spades.  Now Declarer cannot get rid of enough of Dummy's spades before losing to the King of trumps, and thus allowing the second spade trick to be taken as well as the Diamond.  However, the defence needs to be alert and to cash its diamond trick because the King can be deposited on the Ace of spades. 

 

Going back to the choice of opening bid - at least one North chose to open (an ACOL-style) 1 - so what would you do in those circumstances holding the South cards?  Pass and hope that West takes it out is a line that would usually be sound, but not here.  Two North's found themselves left playing in club part-scores.