Page 0011

John keeps out of


trouble with the law

two boards in a row

‘OH no, look where we’ve got to play next, asked Julie about the 3® and was relieved

it’s the pair that plays funny systems,’ said to hear her say: ‘It is natural but at worst it Mike Swanson

John worriedly. shows minimum opening values and it

‘Don’t worry, they are more likely to could be a fair bit stronger.’

confuse each other than cause us to get in Over 3t John decided to commit his West North East South

a mess,’ replied Julie in an effort to placate side to game and so he leapt to 4´. Ever Julie John

John but not believing a word of what she curious, West again asked: ‘Well, we are Pass

said. now in the land of the unknown,’ replied Pass 1® 3t Dble

Julie. ‘We do play splinters so it could be a 4t Dble Pass 4™

spade shortage agreeing diamonds, or it All Pass

Love All. Dealer East. could just be showing a black two-suiter.’ *

´ KQ982 John was now on the horns of a dilemma John couldn’t help asking what the 3t bid

™ Void when Julie again bid her diamonds. Was it was, if only because he was having trouble

t J 10 9 5 4 2 the honourable thing to pass, having mustering the courage to make a negative

® 10 9 listened to her either/or explanation, or (take-out) double at the three-level with

´ 3 ´ 10 6 should he bid on? Eventually he decided only 7 points. After hearing that the 3t bid


™ K 7 5 4 3 W E ™ Q J 10 9 8 2 that passing 5t would just be silly, so he bid was pre-emptive, eventually he doubled.

t AQ8763 S t K 5´ which Julie raised to 6´. Despite the big diamond fit, West only

® 4 ® QJ73 After John had made thirteen tricks, the raised to 4t, fearing that the adverse

´ AJ754 opponents asked to look at his hand, so he vulnerability would produce too big a

™ A6 spread it on the table in the full expec- penalty if he bid 5t. Julie’s double was also

t Void tation of hearing a call for the Director. for take-out (and John remembered that it

® AK8652 Instead East-West just shrugged their was!), so John signed off in 4™.

shoulders and accepted that they would The defence got off to the best possible

have done the same, and they all went on start when West led a spade to East’s ace;

West North East South to the next board. East then played his second spade and,

Julie John when John led trumps to the next trick,

2t 3® West took his ace and gave his partner a

Pass 3t Pass 4´ E/W Game. Dealer South. spade ruff. At last the defence tried to

Pass 5t Pass 5´ ´ K J 10 cash a diamond, so John ruffed and drew

Pass 6´ All Pass ™ K974 the last trump. All he had to decide now

t Q was whether East had eight diamonds

When the 2t bid was alerted, John asked ® AJ843 and a singleton club, or seven diamonds

West what it meant. ´ 9864 ´ A7 and a doubleton club. Eventually he


‘It’s a Multi: it’s either a weak two in a ™ A3 W E

™ J 10 decided that with an eight-card suit East

major, or a strong two in a minor, or a t K 10 7 5 4 S t AJ98632 would have bid at least 4t, so he played

strong balanced hand.’ ® 10 7 ® Q6 the ace and king of clubs and made his

For once John did remember the main ´ Q532 contract.

points of their defence: double showed a ™ Q8652 ‘I nearly went off there,’ said John. ‘I

balanced 13-16 or any hand with 21+ t Void couldn’t believe that East could have as

points, 2™ showed a take-out double of ® K952 many as 12 points for his pre-emptive bid.’

spades, 2´ showed a take-out double of ‘It came as a surprise to me too,’ replied

hearts, and 2NT was 17-20 balanced. All West. ‘But if you would like to call the

that didn’t really help him as he just Director . . .’

wanted to show a big two-suiter. Eventually * Author’s Note: Julie should really not have ‘No, no,’ interjected Julie. ‘Two boards in

he decided upon 3®, hoping that he speculated on what John’s bid might mean. a row where John makes his contract and

would get the chance to bid again. She should just have said that it was a we avoid the Director is a rare occurrence

Even though it wasn’t alerted, West situation that they had not discussed. to be savoured.’ r October 2010 English Bridge 11


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