TIPS FOR IMPROVERS
Points of interest from the September 2012 duplicates
1 2 Clubs – 2 Diamonds – 3 Major
Board 6 Tuesday 11 September
If you open 2 Clubs and partner bids 2 Diamonds then a rebid of 2 of a major is forcing to game. Therefore if you choose to jump to 3 of a major then by taking up extra space you are showing a solid suit and setting that major as trumps.
First of all note that although South has only 15 points it is essential to open 2 Clubs because you have about 9 tricks in your hand and you will have great difficulty in describing your hand if you only open 1 Spade. North responds 2 Diamonds because he lacks the traditional Ace and a King to make a positive response. Now South jumps to 3 Spades to show a solid suit and setting Spades as trumps. Now while it is true that you are missing the Queen of the suit the fact that you do have eight Spades makes it sensible to treat the suit as being solid for all practical purposes.
After the sequence 2 Clubs – 2 Diamonds – 3 Major then responder shows an Ace by bidding it at the lowest level. If responder has no Ace then be bids 3NT if he has at least one King. If responder has neither an Ace or a King then he raises to four of the major which is the weakest response.
The bidding now continues:-
2 Clubs 2 Diamonds
3 Spades 4 Diamonds
4 Hearts 4 Spades
5 Diamonds 6 Spades
North cuebids the Ace of Diamonds, South cuebids the Ace of Hearts and at this point North signs off in 4 Spades. However when South now continues with 5 Diamonds showing the King he is directing North’s attention to the Club suit. North knows that he is being asked to jump to slam if he has either the King of Clubs or a singleton.
2 When supporting partner’s overcall always raise to the level of the fit especially when not vulnerable
This means that if you have a known 9 card fit then always go straight to the 3 level (9 tricks) and if you have a known 10 card fit then always go straight to the 4 level (10 tricks). This assumes that your hand is not strong enough to show support by cue-bidding the opposition’s suit which you would usually do if you had 10 plus points.
Board 9 Tuesday 18 September
After 1 Spade from East and a 2 Heart overcall from South, West passes and now North must raise to 4 Hearts knowing of the minimum 10 card fit. This is the best call because it prevents East from either rebidding 3 Spades or making a takeout double if North only bids 3 Hearts.
Against 4 Hearts West leads the Jack of Spades to East’s Ace. Now while it is true that if East switches to the King of Clubs then Declarer has four losers it is far from certain that East will find this play. He is far more likely to either return a Spade hoping that West’s lead was a singleton or to switch to a Diamond which would be the correct defence if South held instead:-
When vulnerable you need to exercise a little more caution when raising to the level of the fit since for instance there is a greater danger that the opposition will double say a bid of 3 Spades for penalties if they do not think that they have game their way.
3 As responder don’t jump the bidding when holding a two suited hand regardless of how strong you are
Board 12 Tuesday 18 September
1 Heart 2 Clubs
2 Hearts 3 Diamonds
3 Hearts 3 Spades
4 Clubs 4NT
5 Clubs 6 Clubs
First of all note that West should open with just 1 Heart. First or second in hand you must never open with a pre-emptive bid if your hand qualifies as a regulation one opener on the Rule of 19 or the more conservative Rule of 20. The West hand is 21 on this rule (points + number of cards in two longest suits = 10+11 = 21). East has a monster hand but wants to bid both his suits at a reasonably economical level so he simply replies 2 Clubs. West rebids Hearts and now East introduces his second suit. Now West simply shows the Hearts for a third time and East now bids 3 Spades fourth suit forcing requesting more information. At this point some might be tempted to bid 3NT having a Spade stop but a 4=7=0=2 hand is hardly suitable for No Trumps and in any event East is far more likely to be interested in West’s delayed Club support. Roman Key Card Blackwood using the 1430 responses (ie 5 Clubs = 1 or 4 Keycards) is wheeled out and the Club small slam is reached.
In the play if you get a Spade lead you simply trump both Diamonds guaranteeing the contract even if Hearts break 4-1. If you get a trump lead then you draw trumps and play the Queen of Hearts. If they win then you make 12 tricks with seven Clubs, two Diamonds, two Hearts and one Spade while if they duck the Queen of Hearts you revert to Diamonds making 12 tricks with seven Clubs, three Diamonds, one Heart and one Spade.