Playing in a local pair game against unknown opposition,
partner deals with our side vulnerable and opens 1.
RHO passes and I have a decision to make early.
K62 9542 1053 KJ7
With this partner, I have only two sensible options. I can bid a normal 2,
or I can bid a forcing notrump and bid hearts later. Our rule on
the choice is that 10-loser hands are supposed to bid 1NT, but this
hand feels a little too good for that. Knowing that I am making a
mild overbid, I bid 2. I'm glad that I supported partner
because the auction suddenly gets competitive.
Partner's 3NT is natural, showing stoppers in both minor suits.
She's either expecting to make it by running nine tricks off the
top or she has solid stoppers in the minors without enough length
to want to penalize them. That would mean a balanced hand in the
19 HCP and up range. This problem is actually very easy. Passing
is clearcut. With 4-3-3-3 shape, some help in the minors, and
subminimum values, 9 tricks looks easier than 10. There is very real
danger of a ruff in 4, too, so I pass 3NT.
LHO isn't done yet. He bids 4 and this gets passed around
to me. Partner's pass is significant. She doesn't likely have the
all offense hand or she'd've bid on to 4. She probably has exactly
two clubs, likely A10 or AQ. Do I go on now?
I think not. I don't like my hand for offense at hearts, especially
since now suits rate to be breaking badly. With 4/7 of my high card
in their suit, it must be right to defend. I double, ending the
auction. We collect 500 because partner is unwilling to lead or
shift to trumps from AQ tight, but was that our best score available?
The only way to know is to see if partner would have made 4.
The opening lead will be either a club or a diamond. If it is a club,
partner will win and take a trump hook. Unless clubs are 7-1
or there are two trump losers, 4 will probably make.
What if they lead a diamond? Third hand must duck, which will set the
hand if the opening leader has three hearts to the King. How should
partner play it if the K is permitted to win the first trick?
I'd cash the trump Ace and play a club to dummy to lead a trump towards
the Q10. As long as trumps are 2-2 or the King is onside tripleton
(unlikely) I'll make the hand. In real life, the 2NT bidder
had A J7 AJ862 109854 and 4 was made about half
the time. Partner would have had no problem. I'm happy with my
average for +500, though.
| Q87 |
| K62 |
Copyright © 1993 Jeff Goldsmith