Chichester Bridge Club
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Release 2.19r
Thursday Nov 21st - Board 9

On this hand, it is perfectly reasonable for South to play in 1S going 2 off, when 3NT is on. In fact, South can make 10 tricks in NT although North might only make 7 tricks.

How might the bidding go?

(a) East might bid a weak 2S. I would not recommend that, because of the vulnerability, but the quality of the spades could persuade some that it was worth the risk. Then South might bid 2NT (balanced 16+) which would be passed out, and made. (3C by North is often conventional.)

(b) If East passes, South might open 1C, wrongly in my view. West is unlikely to double because of the spade shortage, but North is likely to raise to 2C, to inhibit East. South will respond 2NT, which may be passed out or North might bid 3C which will be passed out. Either contract will make.

(c) In my view, the right bids are North Pass, East Pass, South 1S, all pass. (One opens 1S, because the planned rebid is in NT and one does not want to miss a 4-4 spade fit.) This correct bidding leads to 2 off!!  If West decides to double 1S, East might well pass for penalties and South is likely to pass hoping his overall strength will allow him to make.

(d) Two Souths managed to play in 3NT, but I cannot envisage the bidding.

Bridge does produce these interesting hands.