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Hand of the Week

Bid and Play. A competitive auction from BBO session on Mon 18/9. Please email any comments or your own HoW to with a subject line "Hand of the Week".

Auction 1
Bidding: - 1♣ 1♠ 2♣ 2♠  end.

S opens length first. W with 8+ and 5 cards can overcall. N with 9 HCP may consider1NT but no heart stop and adequate support for partner's suit. E has a minimum hand but 3 card support and will always raise regardless of vulnerability. S has a minimum opener and unwilling to bid on when vulnerable opposite a possible 6 points.

Declarer can only count 2 spade tricks and 1 heart trick. So plenty of work to get up to 8. Extra 2/3 spade tricks (on a 3/2 split and finesse) + 0/1/2 red suit Ks depending on favourable position of both red Aces. Note that S has at least one A for the opening bid (point count of at least 12). So 8 tricks if all cards are onside but only 5 tricks if all cards are offside.

N leads partner's suit to pick up 2 club tricks. A third round is risky as if declarer is void it gives a ruff & discard. Also defensive count signal (2 on second round to show odd number remaining - current count) can be used to show that N started with 4 clubs.  S switches to 6, won by J . The diamond tricks are not going to run away and worth trying to give partner the lead to repeat the finesse. N plays 8covered by Q (promoting K) & A. S plays 5 (hi-lo to show an even number holding) won by Q. N can cash A and plays final diamond for S to ruff away 10 (winner once trumps are drawn) and over-ruffed by declarer. A heart to K sets up a spade finesse or drop. Both options fail and defence enjoy a further  winner. Down 3 (+150).

Auction 2
Bidding: - 1♣ 1♠ 3♣ end.

N has 9 HCP and 4 card support and 8 losers. N should anticipate a 2 level bid from E and make it more difficult by bidding directly to 3♣. S can decide to bid further if better than minimum. E may consider 3♠ sacrifice and can afford to go 2 down non-vulnerable and not doubled (-100) if 3♣ (-110) is making.

Declarer counts 3 tricks (♣  ♠ ). Extra 3/4 in clubs + 2 heart ruffs + 1/2 diamonds + Q♠ if W has AK. So at least 9 and maybe 11. As the cards lie, 11 tricks (+150).

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