TIPS FOR FEBRUARY
Points ofinterest from the February 2013 duplicates
1 Have I got what partner is looking for ?
Board 10 Tuesday 5 February –Vulnerability Amber
West North East South
Pass 1 Spade
2 Hearts 2 Spades 3 Hearts 4 Hearts
When South bids 4 Hearts over East’s 3Hearts the time has come for North to re-evaluate his assets. Clearly the 4 Heart bid is a void showingcue-bid since South must have a control in both minor suits in order to make aslam try. In other words if North hadthe Ace of Hearts then this would be a duplication of values. North’s first instinct might be to sign offin 4 Spades but this would be a mistake. North has two cards of enormous importance. Firstly he has the King of trumps andsecondly he has the King of Diamonds which must be of great value. Therefore North should co-operate bycue-bidding 5 Diamonds which is then enough for South to jump to 6 Spades.
On the King of Hearts lead declarerwould ruff and start drawing trumps by playing a low Spade to the King (in casethe suit breaks 3-0 with East having all three Spades). Then leaving the last trump outstanding he playsa low Club to the 9 which wins. Theremaining trump is drawn at trick 4 and dummy is entered with the King ofDiamonds at trick 5 to take another Club finesse. The very fortunate lie of the Club suit thengives all thirteen tricks. I havecalculated the approximate probability of the contract making as 64 per cent. When trumps are 2-1 declarer needs split Clubhonours ie 78% x 0.75 = 58.5%. When Easthas all three trumps declarer has about a 50 per cent chance of making thecontract ie 11% x 0.5 = 5.5%. Totalprobability 64%.
2 Sacrificing at the six level
Board 6 Tuesday 12 February – VulnerabilityEast West
It is extremely rare for a sacrificeto be profitable at the six level. Thehand above was one of the infrequent occasions on which it could be justified.
West North East South
Pass 1 Heart
Double 3Hearts1 3 Spades 4 Hearts
4NT Pass 5 Diamonds2 Pass
5 Spades Pass Pass 6 Hearts
Double Pass Pass Pass
1 Pre-emptiveraise after a double
West is too strong to overcall South’sopening bid with 1 Spade which would show a maximum of 17 or possibly 18 pointsand so starts off proceedings with Double. At Green or White North would always give a double raise in Hearts afterWest’s takeout double, the rationale being that you are trying to make it moredifficult for East West to exchange information. When West then employed Roman KeycardBlackwood in response to East’s 3 Spade bid then South could be fairly surethat 5 Spades was going to make since West must have second round control ofboth minor suits in order for the use of RKCB to be correct. Why is this? The reason is that if West did not have second round control of bothminors then it would be very dangerous for him to use RKCB since if his Clubswere for instance Qx instead of Kx then even if East showed one Keycard then ifthis were the Ace of Diamonds the opposition would still be able to take thefirst two tricks in Clubs. Therefore trustingthe East West bidding South could be sure that 6 Hearts doubled would becheaper than allowing East West to make 650 in 5 Spades and in fact 6 Hearts doubledonly goes two down for 300 to East West.
3 Takeout double by the Advancer
Board 15 Tuesday 19 February –Vulnerability NS
The term Advancer is one that is usedextensively in American Bridge literature anddescribes the partner of the overcaller.
South passes as Dealer and West opens1 Spade and North overcalls 2 Clubs. Although an overcall in a minor suit at the two level would usually showa six carder North has a strong enough hand to be able to justify bidding agood five carder. East bids 2 Spades andnow the spotlight turns to South. Withonly seven HCPs South cannot justify bidding either of his suits at the threelevel. However as East West have bid andsupported Spades then a takeout double describes his hand perfectly. This suggests values in the two unbid suitswith at least nine cards in Hearts and Diamonds. West may now bid 3 Spades defensively butNorth has a strong enough hand to justify jumping to 5 Diamonds.
If the trumps divided 2-1 (78%) then 6Diamonds would actually be a good contract. The 3-nil trump break makes this very difficult. However 11 tricks are comfortably made whenafter discovering the void in Diamonds with East, Dummy is entered with a Spaderuff and the Diamond finesse taken. Declarer makes seven trump tricks, two Heart tricks and two Club trickswith the aid of a ruffing finesse.
Deep Finesse stated that it ispossible to make 12 tricks in Diamonds and it took me over 15 minutes to workout how this is possible. If anyone isinterested I will be happy to show them the solution.