Another lovely spring day for a cozy 6 tables of bridge. Congratulations to Dave and Skip (64%) and Lucy and Dellen (63%) for high scores today. You've all done very well.
I apologize to the players who did not get to play the last round. I will credit you with a free day of bridge the next time you come. Again, I'm sorry that I couldn't remedy the situation. You should get what you pay for.
A lovely day for the first day of spring. Congratulations to Sherry and Dottie for a razor-thin win (65%) and Joan and Walter (55%). You've all done very well.
Next Monday we'll start the No-Trump Openings worksheet. Be prepared to discuss.
I will try to add comments to today's boards. Check back tomorrow and Wednesday.
I hope to see you Thursday or next week.
Comments added to boards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 15 and 16.
East opens 1 Heart and West responds 2 Clubs. East stops to consider his rebid. He counts 13 HCPs and 2 more for the doubletons. He decides that 3 Clubs best describes his hand, so he bids that. West sees a double fit with 10 points and knows that his Heart support makes partner stronger. He has shown his 10 points with his previous bid, so bids 3 Hearts to show the double fit. East reevaluates to 16 points in Hearts and raises to game. South has no obvious lead, so chooses a low Spade.
Declarer stops to count and plan. He sees 4 top tricks; a Spade, a Heart and 2 Clubs. He has a Heart loser, but hopes for 3 more Heart tricks. He can set up a Diamond, but it looks like he’ll have to find the Queen of Clubs for his last 2 tricks. If South had the King and Queen of Spades, he would lead the King, so the honors are surely split. He plays the 6 of Spades, hoping North will have to play the King, but North plays the 10 and he takes the Ace. He leads a low Diamond toward dummy, South plays low and he wins with the King of Diamonds. He returns the 9 of Hearts, North covers with the Queen and he wins with the Ace. Declarer continues with a low Heart to the 8 in dummy and North’s King.
North cashes the King of Spades and continues a low Spade. Declarer ruffs low, draws the last outstanding trump and stops to consider how to play the Clubs. He has lost a Spade, a Heart and a Diamond and must guess correctly. North has shown 8 points and South 6, so either one could have the Queen of Clubs. He flips a mental coin, cashes the King and leads the Jack toward dummy. Whatever South does, the finesse is working and declarer makes his contract. If the mental coin had told him to play the finesse the other way, he would have gone down.
Either way, the contract is right. You must be in game with a major fit (here a double fit) and 16 points opposite 10 or more.
East opens 2 Clubs and West responds 2 Diamonds, waiting. East rebids 3 No Trump (balanced hand with 25-27 HCPs) and West stops to consider whether to pass, transfer to 4 Hearts or invite slam. She decides against 4 No Trump, a straight invitation to 6 No Trump. Partner would accept the invitation with a maximum 27 points and probably go down with only 31 HCPs. The only feasible slam invitation would be to hope partner has 3 or more Hearts and 26-27 points. If that were so, he could transfer to 4 Hearts and then bid 4 Notrump to show exactly 5 Hearts and enough points to invite slam. Partner would bid 6 Hearts and it would probably make it.
If West decides that’s too risky if partner doesn’t have 3 Hearts, he will give up on slam (partner would stop short with his minimum anyway). He would then focus on 3 No Trump or the transfer to 4 Hearts. The transfer is attractive with his singleton, but, again, if partner doesn’t have 3 Hearts there might be a really bad split. He’ll probably end up just passing the 3 No Trump. That should easily make 11 tricks by cashing the Ace-Queen of Hearts, revealing the split, and leading to dummy for the marked finesse. It makes 12 by leading the Jack of Spades when in dummy. North must cover and declarer takes the King with his Ace and then leads toward dummy’s 10. Declarer gets the 10 whether South ducks or takes the Queen.
3 No Trump plus 2 is a good enough for the top anyway. Good job, Kathy and Diane!
South opens 1 Heart, West passes and North responds 2 Hearts. East may or may not try to enter the auction, but South will reevaluate to 21 points and raise to 4 Hearts. It makes with overtricks for the top.
Carol and Diane did get into the auction, stole the contract and went down 1 doubled and vulnerable for the top. Good job by them and nice try by Christine and Emily.
For those Souths who opened 3 Hearts; You’re waaay too strong for that.
It floats to South who opens 1 No Trump. North can provide several tricks in a suit, but lacks the 8 HCPs to bid Stayman. He bids 2 Hearts, Jacoby, and passes when South makes the puppet response of 2 Spades. South has a maximum and everything works for 10 or 11 tricks in Spades, but 2 Spades plus 2 is the top. Good job, Rick and Margie.
East opens 1 Diamond and West responds 2 Clubs. East ponders whether to describe his hand with 2 Diamonds or go with the 5-4 fit and raise to 3 Clubs. He decides on 3 Clubs and West ponders an invitational 4 Clubs or game at 3 No Trump or 5 Clubs. Seeing Dave’s T-shirt, she decides on 3 No Trump and makes an overtrick for the top. Good job, Betty and Diane!
East passes (vulnerable) and South opens 1 Heart. West passes and North stops to think. He has Heart support and 12 HCPs, but lacks the 4 Hearts to bid the limit raise. He wants to force partner to describe his hand, but 2 Diamonds promises a 5-card suit and 2 Clubs promises a 4-card suit. He chooses 3 Hearts as probably the least harmful lie. South reevaluates to 16 points and raises to 4 Hearts. Declarer will lose two Hearts and the King of Diamonds, but should have the rest.
Suppose North instead responds 2 Diamonds. South may reverse to 3 Clubs to show 2 suits and 15 points or reevaluate to 17 points in support of Diamonds and jump to 4 Diamonds. North would correct to 4 Hearts.
Suppose North instead responds 2 Clubs. North may reevaluate to 18 points in support of Clubs and jump to 4 Clubs. North again would correct to 4 Hearts. North might also take the bit in his teeth and jump straight to 5 Clubs. Disaster.
Tough hand! Nothing is just right.
Everyone got to the right contract here. It’s a battle for the declarer to get 11 tricks and the defenders to not give anything away. It’s a good board to analyze your play.
South opens 1 No Trump and North stops to think. He counts 15 HCPs and is thinking slam, but the singleton makes him hope for a trump fit. He bids 2 Clubs, Stayman, to test the waters. South rebids 2 Diamonds, showing no 4-card major. North now has no options to No Trump and partners lack of a 4-card major makes it more likely that he will have something in Clubs. He bids his HCPs with 4 No Trump and partner goes to 6 No Trump with his maximum 17 points. Declarer will lose a Spade whether he finesses or not, but take the rest. If you didn’t get to slam, review the standard responses to 1 No Trump.
It floats to South who opens 1 Diamond. North responds 1 Spade and South doesn’t have the 17 points to rebid 2 Hearts, so must rebid 1 No Trump. North raises to 2 No Trump to invite game with his 11 HCPs and South stops to think. Partner would normally have 11 points to invite when partner has shown 13-16. With his 14 HCPs, 3 No Trump is certainly feasible. Would partner have invited with 10? He decides to just do it and raises to 3 No Trump.
West ponders his lead and doesn’t like anything. He would like to keep his honors behind declarer to avoid giving anything away, but also hesitates to lead around to declarers bid suit. He finally decides to lead low through dummy’s Spade suit. Declarer stops to count and plan. He sees 6 top tricks; 2 Spades, 1 Heart and 3 Diamonds. He sees a possible fourth Diamond and third Spade. If the opponents’ break the Clubs, he might get one there. He plays a low Spade from dummy and takes East’s Jack with his King. He continues with a low Spade toward dummy and covers whatever West plays with the Ace, 10 or 8, say he covers the 6 with the 8. He then cashes the Ace and Queen of Diamonds and continues with the 10 toward his King- 9. East ducks and the 10 holds, so declarer crosses to the Ace of Hearts and cashes the King of Diamonds. He then leads the remaining low Spade toward dummy and, whatever East plays, wins the last two Spades for his 9 tricks.
Marion and Cynthia stopped at 2 No Trump, but got the 9 tricks for the top. Well played!
Six pairs were in No Trump, but only three pairs got to game. How should it go? It floats to East who opens 1 Club. West responds 1 Heart and East stops to think. He’s sorely tempted to jump to 2 No Trump to show his 18 HCPs and stoppers in the unbid suits, should normally have a balanced hand for that sequence. Partner might have 4 small Hearts and he could be down before he started. He decides to jump-shift to 2 Spades to force game and see what partner does. West doesn’t like either Spades or Clubs and know nothing about Diamonds, so rules out No Trump. He decides that his best lie is to rebid 3 Hearts. East now feels comfortable with No Trump and corrects to game. South will surely lead the 5 of Diamonds and declarer makes his game easily.
If East couldn’t force with the jump-shift, he would probably rebid 2 No Trump with the same result.
West opens 1 Club and east responds 1 Heart. West raises to 2 Hearts to show 4-card support and 13-16 points. East reevaluates to 13 points and raises to 4 Hearts. South leads the Ace of Spades and declarer stops to count and plan. He sees 5 top tricks; 1 Heart, 2 Diamonds and 2 Clubs. He hopes for 3 or 4 more Hearts and another Diamond. If South continues Spades he’ll probably get the Queen. He follows to the opening lead and waits to see what happens. North signals with the deuce and South stops to think. He hopes for the King of trumps and 3 Spades, but partner’s signal is not promising. If partner has a trick, he would return a Spade and they might get down 2. If he doesn’t, they might not get them down at all. He decides to try to play safely and make declarer work for his 10 tricks.
South continues with the Jack of Clubs. Declarer takes the Ace in dummy and runs the Queen of Hearts to South’s King. South exits with the 10 of Clubs, hoping partner has the Queen, and declarer takes dummy’s King and discards a Spade from his hand. Declarer then cashes the Jack of Hearts, clearing the suit, cashes the Ace of Diamonds and leads a low Diamond to North’s Queen and his King in hand. He then cashes the Jack of Diamonds, ruffs the last Diamond in dummy and takes the remaining trumps for his 10 tricks and a top. South did his best, but couldn’t do it alone.