Question of the Week - 17

 Hi All,

This question concerns whether to pass or transfer when partner opens 1 No Trump and you have a scrawny 5-card major and 0-7 points. These can be difficult, but you must place the contract. You can't always be right, but you can neither pass nor transfer arbitrarily.

You usually figure partner for 4 tricks and he's probably in trouble. What would you do with the first hand below?

                     South

                     ª 10 9 8 7 6

                     © 5 2

                     ¨ 9 5

                     § 8 6 5 3

 

You add no tricks in No Trump and never get the lead to enable declarer to lead toward his honors. Ugh! If, however, you transfer to 2 Spades, you may take 2 trump tricks and declarer can lead twice to his honors. You may greatly ease the pain and might even make 2 Spades. How about the hand below?

                     South

                     ª 10 9 8 7 6

                     © 5 2

                     ¨ 9 5

                     § K Q J 2

 

This time you may get two or even 3 tricks and declarer can lead twice toward his honors. You have a good chance for 1 No Trump and see no need to go for 8 tricks in Spades. Pass!

Most of the time, you'll be somewhere between with a tough choice. You must thnk it over and place the contract as best as you can. That's Bridge! Good luck and stay well, Dave