Gadsden Times – 9 May 2006
Dealer South Both Vulnerable
Opening lead: J
Look only at the North hand.
What would you respond if partner opens one spade?
What would you rebid, if anything, after partner opens one heart, you respond one spade, and he rebids two hearts?
Your hand started as a 10-pointer which is just enough to invite game. If partner opens one spade, your hand is worth a game-force. If you combine high-card points with shortage points, you have 13: 10 honor points, and three distribution points for your singleton heart.
If you prefer to count losers, you have seven: two spades, one heart, one diamond and three clubs. Partner is assumed to have seven losers for his opening bid. Seven plus seven subtracted from 24 gives 10, the number of tricks you ought to be able to win. What do you bid?
I would jump to four hearts, a splinter bid showing the values for game with at most one heart. But maybe you bid two no-trump, Jacoby Forcing Raise; or three no-trump if that is your partnership’s artificial major-suit game-force.
Opposite a partner bidding hearts twice, though, you should pass. Against two hearts, West leads the diamond jack: queen, ace, two. East returns the diamond seven to dummy’s king. You have four side-suit losers, so can afford only one trump loser.
What is the best play there? It is best to play- stop peeking! – low to the queen. This gains over low to the 10 when East has king-third or king-fourth, and loses when East has jack-third, which is less likely.