Page 0049

side: you are almost certain to get a heart lead

through partner's holding, and without a second

heart stop from partner you will be embarrassed as

soon as you lose the lead. 2® rather puts your eggs

all in one basket - when it's right to play in 2® or

3® you'll do well, but it makes it hard to reach other

strains when that is right, and it is also the most

likely contract to go for a penalty.

Marks: (A) 10; (B) 6; (C) 5.

____________

6. ´ K Q 8 ™ K Q 6 t A K 7 6 4 2 ® 3

You open 1t; partner responds 1´. What call do

you make?

(A) 2™; (B) 3t; (C) 3´.

Most would bid 3t on these cards, aware that they

may struggle to find a 5-3 spade fit when it's right.

3´ could work well, even on a 4-3 fit, but it is a

gamble to commit to spades at this point. That

leaves 2™. The extra space makes it easy to find a

5-3 spade fit. 'What if partner raises hearts?' I hear

you cry. Well, if partner has four hearts, he must

have a fifth spade. You can correct hearts to spades

at any level.

Marks: (A) 10; (B) 6; (C) 4.

SECTION B (Question 7)

You are West, holding the hand shown. Which lead

would you make after this auction? You will be

given a mark out of 10 for your choice.

7. ´ K 6 3 ™ K Q J 9 t 7 4 ® K Q 10 5

West North East South

1t

Dble 2t 2´ 3t

All Pass

What lead do you make?

(A) ´3; (B) ™K; (C) t7.

This is the sort of lead problem we all like to have.

Two great sequences to choose from, plus partner

has bid a suit! However, on this hand, you should

spurn them all, preferring to lead a trump. Your side

has spades, hearts and clubs all sown up, so, besides

a couple of outside aces, the only place declarer can

go for tricks is diamonds. Lead a trump to try to

stop the potential ruffs in the dummy.

My second choice is a heart, leading from such a

49

February 2015 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

solid sequence is much better than leading partner's

suit, which won't always be as strong as we might

hope.

Marks: (C) 10; (B) 8; (A) 5.

SECTION C (Questions 8-9)

In each case which of the three example hands

would bid according to the sequence given? What

should the other two do differently? Again,

assume you are playing duplicate pairs and the

vulnerability is Love All.

You will receive 6 marks for the correct answer -

in Mike's judgement - and 2 marks each for giving

the correct alter native bidding for the other

hands.

8. Partner opens 1´; you bid 1NT; partner bids

2™, which you pass.

a) ´ Q 4 ™ K 7 6 5 2 t K 3 ® 8 6 4 2

b) ´ J 6 ™ Q 10 7 t A 8 6 3 ® J 10 3 2

c) ´ 8 ™ Q 5 3 t Q 6 2 ® A 10 9 7 6 4

Hand a) has far too much potential to pass. It is

clear to raise partner. Hand b) should give

preference to spades - a 5-2 fit rates to play better

than a 4-3 fit, and, if partner makes a try for game,

you would be happy to accept. Hand c) should pass

2™: this has much more chance of making than 3®,

which will often be dead in the water should partner

have a singleton club.

____________

9. Partner opens 1NT (12-14 points); you raise to

2NT.

a) ´ 10 8 4 2 ™ Q J 6 t K Q 10 ® Q J 10

b) ´ K Q 8 ™ A J 4 t 7 6 4 2 ® J 5 2

c) ´ K Q 9 4 ™ 7 4 t A 9 3 ® Q 10 6 2

Hand b) is too weak to invite game. Not all 11point

hands are created equal! Occasionally you will

miss a good 3NT, but even opposite a full 14-count,

game rates to be marginal.

Hand c) is right on values, but must investigate a

major fit first. Bid Stayman, planning on following

up with 3´ over 2´, or 2NT over 2t or 2™.

Hand a) should raise directly to 2NT. With such

uninspiring shape and every outside suit well

stopped, no-trumps rates to take as many tricks as

spades. The tens make this a much stronger hand

than Hand b), so it's right for you to make a try for

game. r

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