TIPS FOR IMPROVERS BY MICHAEL NEWMAN
Points of interest from the January 2013 duplicates
1 Moysian Fit is sometimes the only game
Board 18 Tuesday 22 January – VulnerabilityNorth South
North opens in 4th seatwith 1 Diamond, South responds 1 Spade and North reverses with 2 Hearts showing17+ points with at least five Diamonds and four Hearts. (While one might occasionally reverse with 16points after a one level response one should always aim to have a minimum of 17).
At this point South requires moreinformation in order to determine the best contract especially as he has nostop in Clubs for no trump purposes. Accordingly he bids 3 Clubs which is 4th suit forcing (togame). When North now bids 3 Spades itis clear that North South cannot play in No Trumps and so South now has tochoose to play in game in either Spades or Hearts. Both are seven card trump fits but Southshould choose to play in Spades because on the expected Club lead the ruffswill be taken in the hand with only three trumps rather than the one with fourwhich would be the case if the final contract were in Hearts.
The play is straightforward. On a Club lead and continuation declarertrumps with the Jack of Spades and then continues with the Ace and Queen ofSpades. He then crosses to hand with theKing of Diamonds and continues with a third round of Spades discarding a Heartfrom the Dummy. If the Spades are 3-3then twelve tricks result. On the morenormal 4-2 break then Declarer continues with Diamonds making 11 tricks ifDiamonds break 3-3 (as all the remaining Clubs will be discarded on the thirdand fourth round of Diamonds or just 10 tricks if the third round of Diamondsis ruffed with the last remaining trump as the defence now have one Club trickto cash.
The term Moysian fit means playing in a 4-3 trump fit. It is named after the American Alphonse Moyse Jr (1898 – 1973) who was saidto love playing in 4-3 fits often at the game level.
2 Trust partner’s bidding !
Board 14 Wednesday 23 January –Vulnerability White
I was absolutely staggered when Istudied the computer scoring for the above board and discovered that only twoout of eight North South pairs had managed to bid 6 Hearts on the above hand.
Assume that East opens with a routineweak two in Spades. South should jump to4 Hearts with only four losers as the shape is too off-centre to start with atakeout double. Now the spotlightfocuses on North. If South can jump togame in Hearts and you have KJ9 in trumps a singleton Spade and the Ace ofDiamonds then it is extremely unlikely that a five level contract will be injeopardy.
Accordingly North should make a slamtry of 4 Spades which shows either a void or singleton (cannot be the Ace asSouth has that card). South now bids 5Clubs showing a control in Clubs and North bids 5 Diamonds. That is enough for South to jump to 6Hearts.
In the play a Grand Slam is made butit is difficult to bid the Grand Slam because if North’s Spade cue-bid is asmall singleton rather than the King there might only be 12 tricks.
Thus it would appear that apart fromthe two North’s who made a move towards slam that the remaining North’s eithershowed very poor judgment or they are used to their partner overbidding on aregular basis !
3 Take Tony Forrester’s advice !
Board 22 Thursday 31 January –Vulnerability EW
In Tony Forrester’s daily bridgecolumns in the Daily Telegraph over the years he has given several examples inwhich he demonstrates that if the opposition open 1NT (whether weak or strong)that the opening leader should make a lead from a safe doubleton or tripletonrather than lead from a broken four card suit.
Board 22 on 31st was an excellentexample of putting this principle into practice:-
East opened a weak no trump which waspassed out. South was faced with leadingfrom two four card suits, either of which had a high chance of blowing atrick. Accordingly followingForrester’s advice the best opening lead is the 9 of Spades. When Declarer plays low from the Dummy Northmust also play low in order to ensure that the Queen of Spades never becomes anentry to the dummy. Declarer wins thetrick with the King of Spades. (Notethat he should win with the King and not the Jack so that if the lead is fromA98xx then the Queen will still be a later entry to the dummy. At trick two Declarer will probably play theJack of Hearts which South covers with the King and won with the Ace in theDummy. Declarer then continues with the10 of Hearts. North now has to decidewhether to win the Queen on the second round or to duck which would be correctif East had three Hearts. While it mightappear a guess it is actually not so. Why is this? The answer israther subtle. North knows that Southhas a maximum of two cards in Spades (since if South started with 98x he wouldhave opened with the 8 (the middle card). Therefore had South started with only two cards in Hearts this wouldmean that he had a five card minor which he would surely have chosen as theopening lead if his shape were 2=2=5=4 or 2=2=4=5. Thus South’s shape is almost certainly2=3=4=4 and North wins the second round of Hearts for that reason. North now switches at trick four to the Jackof Clubs. The defence will take fourClub tricks and at trick eight South can play the King of Diamonds whichestablishes a seventh defensive trick before the Ace of Spades isdislodged. Result one down for +100 toNorth South.