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.
Most will open North’s chunky 11-count in third position at favorable vulnerability; indeed, the hand is worth opening in any position.
Where North opens 1NT, East will double, which might well end the auction, and perfect defense would hold North to just his three aces for an 800-point set, better than the 620 available for bidding and making 4.
Where N/S are systemically precluded from finishing in 1NT doubled, their escape methods might land them in 2, which can be set three tricks. The fate of those 500-point penalties will depend on the number of E/W pairs scoring +620 or +800.
Where North opens one of a minor, East will overcall 1 or 1NT. West will usually raise 1 to 2, though some will prefer to bid 1 in case the lead proves to be an important issue or showing the suit helps East value his hand more accurately in assessing game chances.
In practice, 1 – whether forcing or nonforcing in partnership style – presents East with a modest bidding problem; some will choose a heavy 1NT, others a jump to 2NT, while a few will cue-bid to buy some time. As long as West can convince East that he has three-card heart support, the partnership should reach 4, the best game on this layout, but some will certainly reach 3NT.
In 4, declarer will lose only three aces on any normal line of play, but in 3NT, the defense has a chance for a fourth winner by leading clubs. South will have to rise with the A the first time the suit is led to clear clubs (or cash a club winner) or declarer can take one spade, four hearts, three diamonds and two clubs for +630 and a huge score.