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18th Mar 2019 17:45 GMT
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Board 1 on 18th March 2019

Has north made a reverse bid in this auction?  He has certainly shown "reverse shape", ie first suit longer than second, but he has not automatically guaranteed reverse strength, ie 16+ HCPs.  North's strength is still unlimited, about 11-17 HCPs.  Make sure you are clear with partner that you open your major suit with 15+ in a hand that is 4-4 shape in major/minor.  Once that is clear, this hand is alomost 100% certain to be 5-4 shape (apart from the 4441 hands).  If you play 5-card majors, you will obviously open the minor.  Playing 4-card major Acol, there is no need to open the minor as many Acol players do:  that makes bidding this hand far more complicated than it need be!  Based on years of seing this sequence go wrong for Old Acolites, I urge you to keep it simple and open the major, even with club AKQJ and spade 2345!

The next trap for Old Acol players is to think south could pass north's 1S re-bid for preference on this or any similar hand.  You must never pass when both partners are still unlimited, as here!  The sequence 1-1-1 suits should always be treated as forcing for one round until somebody makes a limit bid.  Here south describes his balanced hand perfectly with his 1NT re-bid, putting north in control.  A 16 count does not justify a move by north, since south holding 9 HCPs is well against the odds.  With 17-18, 2NT invitational would be correct. Declarer counts 6 top tricks and the diamond 7 lead gives him his seventh after playing low in dummy.  East returns his diamond 9 at trick 2 (top of remaining doubleton, count card) and west will probably clear the suit.  On winning his diamond jack, a watchful declarer can start on clubs and set up 4 winners there, as it should be safe to lose the lead to east (no diamonds left).  Eight tricks for +120 and a possible top?




Last updated : 18th Mar 2019 17:45 GMT