The World Wide Bridge Contest is a long-standing tournament in the World Bridge Federation’s calendar, 2013 is its 27th year, and I do hope you all enjoyed this event and found the hands interesting and challenging – my thanks go to Eric Kokish for his excellent and most entertaining commentary. Gianarrigo Rona, President, World Bridge Federation.
Souths who start with a conventional opening bid that shows four spades, five hearts, and minimum opening-bid strength will usually silence West and finish in 2.
Many more Souths, however, will open 1 and West will bid 1 or 2has the right sort of hand for a negative double, but if that option is unavailable North will have to pass, invent a raise (to 2) or introduce a four-card minor (at the two level).
Where West has overcalled 1 South will rebid 1NT in reply to North’s double and West should not risk a second bid with a balanced hand and minimum strength; North should pass 1NT.
Where West overcalls 2 South might pass a negative double, trying for +200 (or more) to beat all the N/S partials if this proves not to be a game deal for N/S. South’s only legitimate alternative is 2NT as 3should show a longer or better suit. The winner this time is to pass the double as 2[ should be held to no more than six tricks. 2NT has eight obvious tricks, but there are possibilities for nine if South ducks the opening lead of a spade honor and West continues the suit or switches to a diamond, declarer covering the nine but guessing to follow low to the four or seven.
In order to hold declarer to eight tricks in hearts, West would have to lead either the K or a low spade (East ruffs and returns a club or a trump, and West still has two natural spade tricks coming), both very unlikely. With N/S +140
in hearts more likely than +110 or -100, and +120 in notrump more likely than +150 or -100, E/W are going to find it difficult to avoid a minus score, and even if they do not incur a 200- or 500-point penalty, they might have to defend especially well to score reasonably.