Page 0042

42 English Bridge October 2019 www.ebu.co.uk

M

y near-namesake and distinguished

fellow chronicler of bridge disasters,

David Bird, has written of the Biltcliffe

Coup. This involves reopening the bidding when

the opponents have stopped in a part score,

doubling the game they subsequently bid, and

allowing it to make. But even Brother Biltcliffe

would be hard pressed to match the feat of the

North-South pair on today's deal from an

international trial:

Way off

Great Bridge Disasters by David Burn

click

link

At one table, developments were comparatively

normal:

N/S Game. Dealer West

´ Q 9 6 5 2

™ 9 7 5

t 5 4 3

® 9 4

´ A ´ K 10 8 4

™ K Q J 10 6 3 ™ 2

t J 10 8 t A 9 7 6

® 10 7 2 ® A Q 6 5

´ J 7 3

™ A 8 4

t K Q 2

® K J 8 3

N

W E

S

enough tricks in time. With or without the guidance

of a book, no one would lead from J73 in declarer's

first-bid suit, and the actual club lead allowed East

to make ten tricks.

At the other table West introduced a variant. A

convention that is becoming popular with some

experts is to open a Multi 2t with a bad weak two

bid in a major, and two of the major with a sound

hand. The idea is that a sequence like 1™-1´-2™

shows a better hand than a sound 2™ opening, and

1™-1´-3™ shows something like an Acol two bid -

the idea behind that is to ensure that you don't

always get too high when partner, as partners

nowadays will, responds to an opening one bid on

not very much at all.

So West opened 2™, a super-sound weak two bid.

East, not expecting quite this much playing

strength, passed and it appeared that his side would

lose a game swing as a result. But as we have seen

often in this series, disaster does not always strike

where it seems at first that it will. South had a pretty

good hand, and although he lacked the classical

shape for a reopening action, his partner might have

been constrained to pass with fair values, especially

since an overcall in a minor would have had to come

at the three level.

So South doubled 2™ for takeout in fourth

seat. West passed, North bid 2´ and East let that go.

He had improved his prospects from plus 140 or so

in 2™ to plus 300 or so against 2´, but that still

represented a small loss. West, however, was not

finished - when 2´ came round to him he reopened

with a takeout double of his own.

Now the vultures were gathering. East passed 2´

doubled happily enough, and South decided that it

might not be his side's best spot - he was right

about that, but it was the best they could do in the

circumstances. He removed to 2NT, doubled by

West to conclude an eventful auction:

N/S Game. Dealer West. IMPs

West North East South

1™ Pass 1´ Pass

2™ Pass 3NT All Pass

Among David Bird's other contributions to

bridge literature is a book called Winning Notrump

Leads, which recommends not leading from any of

South's suits. A spade, knocking the quick entry to

the hearts out of the West hand, would present

declarer with some difficulties, but the powerful

diamond intermediates can be used to create a slow

entry to dummy and the defence cannot come to

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