Monday Bridge 26 August 2016

Hi All,

Another lovely summer day. Congratulations to David and Zelda (66%) and Rick and Margie (64%) for high scores for the day, You've all done very well.

There will be no bridge next Monday, Labor Day. The following week we'll start Lesson 6, Weak-Two Openings. You've got two weeks to be prepared.

I'll try to add comments to today's boards. Check back tomorrow and Wednesday.

See you next week.


PS  Comments added to boards 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18 and 19.

East opens 1 Diamond and West responds 1 Spade. East reverses to 2 Hearts to show his two suits and 17 or more points. West stops to think. The reverse forces him until the auction reaches 3 Diamonds or higher. He can bid 2 No Trump, but this promises no extra points beyond the 6 he previously promised. Even with 17 points, partner may be reluctant to bid again. West instead bids 3 No Trump to show his extra strength and East passes. It makes overtricks for the top.

This is the kind of hand that a teacher hates. A student makes a grotesque bid and it works. How do I keep them off the slippery slope?

Suppose that it floats to East who opens 1 Diamond. South has nowhere near the requirements for a vulnerable 2-level overcall with a bad 5-card minor, so passes. West responds 1 Spade and East raises to 2 Spades to show the fit and 13-16 points. West passes with his 10 points and it makes with an overtrick for a decent score.

Suppose that South overcalls 2 Clubs. West is stuck. He can't bid 2 Spades with a 4-card suit and he can't use the negative double because that promises both majors. He might compete with 2 No Trump with his Club stopper and 10 points, but that's a disaster. His only course is to pass and hope that partner makes a reopening double. He could then bid 2 Spades, but might also be tempted to leave the double in for penalty for another disaster when South makes it.

In other words, South's overcall has crippled the opponents. All I can do is hope that kind of overcall doesn't stick. But then, I'm just a spiteful old man.

East passes and South stops to think. With his 6-card suit, 10 HCPs and two doubletons, he's on the edge between 1 and 2 No Hearts. Let's suppose he chooses to open 1 Heart. North will respond 1 Spade to force partner to describe his hand. South rebids 2 Hearts to show his 6-card suit and his supposed 13 -16 points and now North stops to think. He has 14 HCPs and knows that his good Heart support gives partner 16-19. He considers slam, but settles for 4 Hearts. He can make only 9 tricks without help from the defenders and is down.

Suppose South opens a disciplined 2 Hearts. North stops to think. If his King of Hearts solidifies partner's suit, he can see 8 top tricks. He bids 2 NoTrump and if partner must rebid 3 Hearts, he'll pass. When partner responds 3 Clubs to show a good hand, a good suit and the Ace or King of Clubs, North raises to 3 No Trump. It makes for what should be a top. 

It floats to East who opens 1 Diamond. West responds 1 Spade and East rebids 2 Spades. West reevaluates to 13 points and raises to 4 Spades. After declarer gets in, he will lead the 10 of Spades, covered by North's Jack and won by dummy's Queen. He returns to his hand and leads the 8 of Spades, covered by North's 9 and won by dummy's King. He can force out  North's top Spades and should win 3 Spades, 4 Hearts, 2 Diamonds and 1 Club. 

North opens 1 No Trump and South responds 2 Clubs, Stayman. North rebids 2 Spades and South raises to 4 Spades. Declarer makes an overtrick for the top.

It floats to North who opens 1 Heart, intending to rebid 2 No Trump if nothing better pops up. South responds 1 Spade to force partner to describe his hand and North jumps to 2 No Trump showing a balanced hand with 18-19 HCPs. South raises to 4 Hearts and it makes for the top.

North opens 1 Spade and South responds 2 Hearts to show his 5 Hearts, 10 or more points and to force partner to describe his hand. North rebids 2 Spades to show his 6-card suit and 13-16 points and South stops to think.He has 12 points and knows that his Spade support make partner stronger, so he raises to 4 Spades.It makes for the top.

West opens 1 Heart and East stops to think. He has 13 points in support of Hearts and knows that his support makes partner stronger. He's too strong to limit his hand with 3 hearts and 4 Hearts would be a stop. He's not sure about slam and considers an invitation of 5 Hearts or a tactical new-suit response to force partner to describe. The former shows his Heart support and lets partner decide, but the latter gives partner a chance to show a 6-card suit and extra strength.

If East responds 2 Clubs, West is just short of a jump-shift to 3 Spades, so will reverse to 2 Spades. East will know that partner has only 5 Hearts and only 15-18 points, so will settle for 4 Hearts.

If East instead invites with 5 Hearts, West will upgrade to 19 points (He had only promised 13), and will raise to 6 Hearts. That goes down while 4 Hearts makes an overtrick for the top. The tactical bid is often better than getting jumpy when you're not sure.

East opens 1 No Trump and South may attempt to interfere, but West will raise to 3 No Trump. The play isn't easy, but 1 Spade, 3 Hearts, 1 Diamond and 4 Clubs are there for the taking.

This one was a free for all. Several pairs managed to come out alive. Yuck!

I'm glad I didn't have to play this!

West sits and stares at the ceiling. He doesn't want to defend or put his 8-card suit down in the dummy. The thought of a vulnerable preempt at any level gives him the shivers, so he squeezes out 1 Heart. North doubles and East redoubles. South advances 1 Spade and West competes to 2 Hearts. South could have nothing, and North lacks enough to show the big double, but he may talk himself into competing to 2 Spades.

East has 13 points and knows that his Heart support makes partner stronger, so he raises to 4 Hearts. South has more than nothing and a fit, so he may talk himself into competing to 4 Spades. West still doesn't want to defend and he now counts around 18 points with the fit, so he goes all in to 5 Hearts.

Whew! It makes for the top. Don't you just love competitive bidding?

Suppose North opens 1 Heart with his 22 points and 5-card suit. South knows he wants to be in game, but isn't sure about slam. He can't bid any number of Hearts, so uses a tactical bid of 2 Clubs to force partner to describe his hand. North jump-shifts to 3 Spades to show his two suits and 19 or more points and to force to game. South sees the points for slam and jumps to 4 No Trump to check the Aces. North bids 5 Spades to show 3 Aces, so South bids 6 Hearts. Declarer takes 4 Spades, 5 Hearts, the two minor Aces and 2 Diamond ruffs for plus one and the top.

Everyone's in Spades, but needs the game and the overtrick for a good score. South opens 1 Diamond, West overcalls 1 Heart and North responds 1 Spade to show his 5-card suit. South reevaluates in support of Spades as 19 points and raises to 4 Spades. East will lead the 7 of Hearts and declarer will stop to count and plan.

Declarer sees 5 top tricks; 2 Spades, 1 Heart and 2 Diamonds. He'll have at least 2 more Spades and hopes for the King of Clubs and a Club ruff or two. He plays a low Heart from dummy and West takes the King, setting up the Queen for declarer. West has no good lead, so will probably exit with a Diamond, hoping to give nothing away. East will force the King with the Jack and declarer will stop to reassess. 

Declarer places the Queen of Spades with West, so cashes the King and leads the Jack toward his hand. When this holds, he leads dummy's low Club towards his hand. West must take the Ace and leads his Spade to reduce dummy's ruffing power. Declarer takes the Ace, cashes the Queen of Hearts and King of Clubs and ruffs a Club with the last trump in dummy. He cashes the red Aces and has two good trumps in hand for the overtrick and the top.

It floats to East who opens 1 No Trump. West has 8 HCPs, a 5-card Heart suit and a singleton Spade. He responds 2 Diamonds, the Jacoby Transfer, and East rebids 2 Hearts as directed. West now rebids 2 No Trump to show exactly 5 Hearts and 8-9 HCPs. West chooses 3 Hearts with his 3 Hearts and 16 points. West now reevaluates in Hearts as 11 points and raises to 4 Hearts. South leads the Queen of Clubs and declarer stops to count and plan.

Declarer sees 5 top tricks; 3 Diamonds and 2 Clubs. He sees at least 3 Heart tricks, but needs 2 more tricks from somewhere. He plays low from dummy and takes the King in hand. He then leads the 9 of Hearts toward dummy and, whether South covers or ducks, will force the Ace and establish the suit. When he gets in he will clear the outstanding Hearts, cash the A-K of Diamonds and lead a low Club through the J-9 to his A-10 for his 10 tricks, the game and the top.