Monday Bridge 27 January 2020

Hi All,

A lovely winter day with 9 tables. Congratulations to Bobbie Sue (71%) and Nancy and Darrell (65%) for high scores for the day. You've all done very well.

Next Monday we'll discuss the different types of Reverses. Don't miss it.

The first lesson of the Master Class on Defense will be at 10:30 this Thursday. Give it a try.

I'll try to add comments to today's boards. Check back tomorrow and Thursday to see what I've done.  

See you,  Dave

PS  Comments added to boards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 16 and 17.

North opens 1 Heart and South must respond 1 No Trump. North stops to consider a jump to 3 Hearts or a reverse to 2 Spades. Partner can't have 4 Spades, so North decides to jump to 3 Hearts showing 6 or more Hearts and 17 or more points. South has 8 points and knows that his Heart support make partner stronger, so raises to game.

This is a good example of an excellent bid with an unfortunate outcome. East leads the 7 of Spades to the Jack, Queen and Ace. Declarer can then clear trumps and cash the Queen and 10 of Spades, but can't get another trick unless the defenders give it to him. Stuff happens!

West opens 1 Spade, intending to rebid 2 No Trump to show his balanced hand and 18-19 HCPs. East must respond 1 No Trump and West stops to think. Partner could pass an invitation, so he raises to 3 No Trump. He knows that partner may have only 6 points, but he smells the game. It makes for a good score and three pairs found an overtrick for the top.

An interesting hand. South opens 1 No Trump and North stops to think. He has three options. He can use the transfer to minors to stop at 3 Diamonds, but thinks he's too strong for that. He can invite with 3 Diamonds or he can invite with 2 No Trump. Either of those choices should end up at 3 No Trump.

So far, so good, but now South has to make it. West will probably keep his honors behind declarer and lead the 10 of Clubs. Declarer will stop to count and plan. He sees 5 top tricks; 1 Spade, 1 Heart and 3 Clubs. He needs to set up the Diamonds before the defenders set up the Spades. He wins the lead with the Queen of Clubs in hand and leads a Diamond. West ducks and South stops to think. 

All the chips depend on this. The odds favor a 3-1 split. If East has 3 Diamonds, declarer must go down, so he assumes East has the singleton. If East has a low card, it doesn't matter, but if East has the Ace or Queen, he must guess which. He is finally swayed by the fact that if he forces East's Ace with the Jack, East will lead a Spade through his Ace-Queen and at best he will make his contract. If he drops East's Queen, East won't be able to lead and he'll get overtricks. He goes for broke with the King and gets the top.

West opens 1 No Trump and East stops to think. He wants to get to game, but would prefer a suit fit. He bids 2 Clubs, Stayman, to force partner to bid a 4-card major if he has one or 2 Diamonds if he doesn't. West responds 2 Hearts and East reevaluates to 15 points in support of Hearts and ponders slam. Desperately Seeking Slam likes his hand with 3 prime honors and the Queen of trump. He decides that they have enough for 11 tricks and, if partner has a maximum, the slam. He invites with 5 Hearts and partner raises to 6 Hearts. 

Unfortunately, the slam doesn't make unless declarer plays against the odds to drop the King of Hearts and plays the Diamond finesse backwards. Only two pairs made even 11 tricks. Fortunately for you, everyone stopped at game or less for a decent score. Those who went down at 4 Hearts, though, need to figure out how to make it.

North opens 1 Diamond and East rolls out the Big Double. West advances 1 Spade and East stops to think. Partner was forced and he might have no points and a 4 -card Spade suit. He loves his hand though and bids 3 No Trump hoping partner has something. South leads the Jack of Diamonds and declarer stops to count and plan.

Declarer sees 8 top tricks; 1 Spade, 4 Hearts, 1 Diamond (given the lead) and 2 Clubs and looks for another. There's nothing more from the minors, so it has to be Spades. He's going to lose at least 3 Diamonds, so can only lose 1 Spade. He figures that North has most of the honors and looks for a way. He ducks the Jack of Diamonds and South continues with the 10. Declarer must now take his King or lose it.

Declarer leads to the King of Hearts in dummy and leads a low Spade, hoping to flush out an honor. If North puts up the 9 it's all over, but North doesn't know where the 10 is, so puts up the Queen. Declarer takes the Ace and leads another Heart to dummy's Jack. He leads another Spade through North who takes the King, cashes the two winning Diamonds and exits with a Club. Declarer wins the Ace, leads a Spade to dummy's Jack and has his 9 tricks.

This can't be made without help from the defenders. You can help your cause by forcing them to guess and perhaps make a mistake.

Three pairs went for 4 Spades instead of 3 No Trump. Two went down for a poor score and one made it for the top.

Tough hand!

South opens 1 Diamond and North responds 1 Spade. South wants to be in game, but isn't sure about slam. He considers a jump-shift to 3 Clubs to force game, but decides to just do his job and describe his hand. He jumps to 4 Spades to show the fit and enough to be in game even if partner has a minimum. North reevaluates to 11 points in Spades and ponders passing the game or inviting with 5 Spades. If he does the latter, South will pass and they should make 11 tricks, but several didn't.

I like the invitation, but if you're going to Desperately Seek Slam, you've got to get your tricks.

Let's suppose West and North pass and East opens 1 Heart. West reevaluates to 10 points (7 HCPs plus 3 for the singleton and 1 for the 4-card support) and responds 3 Hearts, the limit raise. East raises to 4 Hearts and it makes for a good score. Two pairs made an overtrick for the top.

Let's suppose instead that North opens 2 Spades. East doubles, South passes and West stops to think. He would like to advance with a jump to 4 Hearts to show his 9-12 points, but that takes him to the 4-level and partner may have only 13 points. He decides to advance to just 3 Hearts. Now East must stop to think. He can bid again to show the big double, but partner could have nothing. He may raise to game anyway, but this certainly demonstrates the obstructive power of the weak-two bid.

It floats to North who opens 2 No Trump. South bids 3 Clubs, Stayman, asking partner to bid a 4-card major if he has one and 3 Diamonds if he hasn't. North rebids 3 Diamonds and South bids 3 No Trump. It makes with an overtrick or two for a good score.

West opens 1 Spade and East raises to 2 Spades. South doubles (Big), West passes and North advances 3 Clubs. North stops to think. He has 9 tricks in hand, but partner may have nothing. He ponders 3 Diamonds, 4 Diamonds or 5 Diamonds. The bold bid 5 Diamonds for a top, the cautious settle for 3 Diamonds and a half and the super cautious let the opponents play in Spades for a bottom.

South opens 1 Spade and North must respond 1 No Trump. South rebids 2 Hearts promising two suits and 13-18 points. North rebids 3 Hearts and South reevaluates to 19 points and raises to 4 Hearts. It makes for a top. Easy peasy!

Let's suppose South opens 1 Spade and West stops to think. He has 13 points, but can't overcall. He's not crazy about the Hearts, but decides to double for takeout. Now North can respond 1 Heart (partner knows he can't have 10 points since he didn't redouble). East jumps to 4 Diamonds to show his best suit and 9-12 points and South competes to 4 Hearts. West competes to 5 Diamonds and comes out ahead whether the opponents let them make it or go down at 5 Hearts.

No pairs got to 3 No Trump. Can they? 

North opens 1 Club, intending to rebid 2 No Trump to show his balanced hand and 18-19 HCPs. East must pass and South responds 1 Diamond, up the line, to force partner to describe his hand. North rebids 2 No Trump and South raises to 3 No Trump with his 7 HCPs. Yes, they can!

North opens 1 Club intending to rebid 2 No Trump to show his balanced hand and 18 HCPs. South responds 1 Diamond, up the line, to force partner to describe his hand. North rebids 2 No Trump as planned and South stops to think. He has 12 HCPs, but the most they can have is 31 HCPs. He may raise to 3 No Trump or invite with 4 No Trump, but partner will pass in either case. They need 11 tricks for a decent score.