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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

Opening with a weak two bid, showing a six card suit and (depending on partnership agreement) about 5-11 points, is a useful way to make it difficult for the other side to bid and find the correct contract. This is particularly true if you open two spades, forcing the opponents to the three level. However, weak two bids have the disadvantage of revealing the distribution. Sometimes this can make it easier for declarer during the play. Consider the deal below and imagine you are sitting South. With neither side vulnerable and East dealing, this was the bidding:
East South West North
2H P P Dbl
P 3S P 6S
All pass      

The full deal is shown below:
  S: KJ982  
  H: A85  
  D: AK  
  C: AK8  
S: 753   S: 4
H: 3   H: KQJ1094
D: 9765   D: 10843
C: J10942   C: Q7
  S: AQ106  
  H: 762  
  D: QJ2  
  C: 653  

East opened a weak two hearts. This was passed around to North, who made a takeout double. South showed his good spade holding by jumping to 3S. North, with his strong hand, raised to six. West led the three of hearts. Now you are stuck with playing 6S! You have 11 easy tricks—five spades, one heart, three top diamonds and two top clubs. What is your plan for making one more trick and taking the contract? It is not easy, but the clue is in the bidding.
You have a potential club loser and a potential heart loser (you can throw one heart from dummy on your queen of diamonds). The key to getting rid of one of these losers is East’s bidding—you know that East has six hearts and therefore West only has one. So you win the ace of hearts. Then, if you can eventually arrange to lose the lead (in clubs) to West, he will not be able to lead a heart. If you take out trumps and the minor suit winners first, before losing the lead, you hope that West will be forced to lead a club or a diamond and allow you a ruff and a sluff for your twelfth trick. This is the situation after you win three rounds of spades, one heart, three diamonds and two clubs:
  S: K2  
  H: 8  
  D: -  
  C: 8  
S: -   S: 4
H: -   H: KQJ
D: 9   D: 10
C: J109   C: -
  H: 62  
  D: -  
  C: 6  

You lead dummy’s last club. West is forced to win. Now, whatever West leads will allow you to throw the last heart from dummy and trump in hand. Then, dummy has only good trumps and you have made your contract. If this was your planned line of play, congratulations!
I would like to hear from readers about their favourite hands—please do contact me at [email protected] Bridge Club of Chiang Mai welcomes all players. We have members from seventeen different countries already. For information on the Club go to the web site

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Bridge in Paradise