Monday Bridge 13 January 2020

Hi All,

A busy day with 11 tables. Congratulations to Donna and Karen (65%) and Rick and Diane (63%) for high scores for today. You've all done very well.

Next Monday we'll continue with Rebids by Openers, another important lesson. Try not to miss these.

I will try to add comments to today's boards, but I have Cardio tests scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday. I'll try to do my best.

See you next time.


Comments added to boards 1, 2, 6, 9, 15 and 16.

It's hard to bid this game and even harder to make it. Let's see what our standard approach does for us. South opens 1 Diamond and North responds 1 Spade. South stops to think. He is interested in No Trump, but his 17 HCPs is too strong for 1 No Trump (13-16) and too weak for 2 No Trump (18-19). He shouldn't limit his hand falsely, so reverses to 2 Hearts to show 2 suits and 17 or more points and force the auction to 3 Diamonds or higher. North doesn't want to rebid his 5-card suit and doesn't want to support either of partner's suits. His only alternative is No Trump and, since 2 No Trump would show a minimum, he jumps to 3 No Trump with his 8 HCPs opposite partner's 17 or more points.

East surely won't lead a low Spade around to North's suit and neither will he lead a Club from the Ace. He'll choose a red suit, so let's suppose he chooses the 4 of Diamonds through dummy's suit. Declarer will stop to count and plan. He sees 4 sure tricks; 2 Spades (He has to eat the King) and two Hearts. He can set up at least 2 Clubs, so needs 3 more. He has them if he leads the King of Spades to the Ace and cashes the Queen, dropping the Jack. This is unlikely, so he ponders setting up the fourth Club or Heart and a Diamond or two.

Declarer must also look at losers, since he can lose only 4. He sees 3 sure losers with with the Ace of Clubs and the Ace, King of Diamonds, so can afford only 1 more. He decides to put off the unlikely Spade play and see what happens in Clubs and Diamonds. He plays a low Diamond and West must take the Ace-King and will probably exit with the 6 of Diamonds, seeing that the Jack dropped. Declarer will take dummy's Queen-9 and start the Clubs, hoping to set up his ninth trick. He leads low to his Jack in hand and, whatever East does, he will have 2 Spades, 2 Hearts, 2 Diamonds and 3 Clubs for his contract and the top. 

The defenders may make other choices, but, if declarer always stops to count and plan, it should work out.

South opens 1 Spade and North stops to think. He sees a Spade fit and 18 points, knows that he wants to get to game and is interested in slam. He follows the normal procedure, bidding up the line with his 4-card suits. His 2 Clubs force partner to describe his hand. South rebids 4 Clubs to show his 17 or more points in support of Clubs. North now wants to be in slam with his 18 points opposite partner's 17 or more, but has two considerations: Aces and choice of suit or No Trump. Either 4 No Trump or a 4-Diamond-control bid might be ambiguous, so he decides to just pick a slam. The top went to 6 Spades plus 1.

East opens 2 No Trump with his balanced hand and 21 HCPs and West responds 2 Clubs, Stayman, to check for a major fit. East rebids 2 Spades and West stops to reevaluate and think. He now sees 10 points opposite partner's 21-22 HCPs and considers slam. He decides to invite with 5 Spades, hoping partner has a maximum. East reevaluates to 22 points in Spades and raise to slam. It makes for the top.

A little bold with 5 quacks between them, but.....

North and East pass and South opens 2 Clubs with his 6-card suit and 24 points. North responds 2 Diamonds, waiting, and South rebids 2 Hearts. North rebids 3 Diamonds to say that he has enough for game, but isn't sure about the Hearts. North can rebid 3 Spades to say "How about the Spades" or 3 Hearts to say "Don't worry about the Hearts"  . In the former case, North will bid 3 No Trump and South will pass. In the latter case, North will reevaluate to 8 points in support of Hearts and invite with 5 Hearts to invite slam. South will raise to 6 Hearts and make it for the top. I like that choice!

It floats to East who stops to think. He counts 18 points, 1 short of the 19 with an 8-card suit criteria for a forcing 2 Club opening. He opens 1 Spade and West responds 2 Hearts to show his 10 points and 5 or more Hearts. East sees enough for game and knows that he wants to be in Spades, so just bids it. It makes for a good score and maybe overtricks for the top. The only real danger is to bid slam and lose three Diamond tricks. Fortunately, nobody fell into that hole.

South opens 1 Club and North stops to think. He can only bid Clubs, but how many? He would bid 3 Clubs for a limit raise with a 5-card suit and 10-12 points and he has a 6-card suit and around 13 points. He's not sure of game if partner has a minimum, so responds 4 Clubs. South has way more than a minimum and considers slam, but he can see possible losers and decides to settle for game. He considers No Trump, but is afraid of the Diamonds and bids 5 Clubs. It makes for a mediocre score and those who got into No Trump scored better when they came up with a Diamond stopper.

Sometimes you bid carefully and lose to the lucky! C'est la vie!