Hand Analyses, 2/1 and Intermediate Bridge

Hand # 3, Friday, May 6, 2001

With North and South each holding 17 HCP and a balanced hand, 6NT seems to be a reasonable contract. Asking for aces and kings will show that the partnership holds all four of each, but 34 HCP and balance suggest stopping at the six-level.

The play is straightforward; South should finesse for the Q of clubs (it loses) and the Q of spades (it wins). Proper technique in clubs is to play the ace (or king) from the North hand, then come to the South hand to lead clubs again.

Hand # 5.

North should open 1D and E is likely to overcall 1S. Spades is South’s best suit, but the lack of a heart stopper (or even an honor) suggests a 2D bid by South. If West ventures a 2H overcall, North might show a second suit (3C), and South would correct to 3D.

What would happen if East should bid 3H? Would South bid 4D? Neither 3H nor 4D will make against sound defense. 3H would be down 1 for -50 points, and would be a good sacrifice, as 3D makes. 4D as a sacrifice would be a losing score of -50 points.

Sometimes competitive bidding is tough!

Hand #11.

North
S AKQJ87652
H 53
D —
C Q7

West would likely open 1D. What should North bid? 4S? Double?

The hand is too strong (4 loser count) for an immediate call of 4S. Replace the spade a with the 3 and a 4S call might be OK. You might also move a heart or a club to the diamond suit and overcall 4S.

Doubling first and then bidding 4S suggests a long, strong spade suit and a good hand–maybe 19+ HCP or 5 or less losers. After the double and the jump to 4S, South will evaluate his cards with slam interest; after a direct jump overcall of 4S, South will expect a more preemptive hand and will look to pass or might make the wrong bid should E-W bid again.

Hand #1.

East
S AQ43
H KQ93
D K3
C AK3

West
S J2
H J765
D A98
C Q765

After East opens 2NT, West has the values and shape for a 3C bid. West knows the final contract will be either 4H or 3NT. Once East responds to 3C by bidding 3H, West should place the contract at 4H. It is usually best to play in the 8-card major-suit fit unless the strong hand has exactly 4-3-3-3 shape. Here 4H makes 5 and 3NT makes 4, a 20-point advantage for 4H.

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