This deal was played recently in Chiang Mai. All
vulnerable and North dealt. The bidding had some challenges for both sides.
How would you bid each of the hands?
East made a Michaels cue bid—bidding North’s suit to show
at least five hearts and five of a minor. South stayed quiet, knowing he
would have another chance to bid (West would not pass and leave East in
2S!). West bid 2N, a conventional bid to ask East which minor suit he had.
North bid diamonds, leaving East with a dilemma. Diamonds was his minor, so
what to do now? Double? Or pass, hoping that N-S might end up in three
diamonds? East chose to pass. Now South had a choice between spades and no
trump. With his good hand, it had to be at a game level. The bidding showed
a lot of distribution, and therefore he reasoned that spades would probably
split badly. With good stoppers in East’s presumed suits, hearts and clubs,
he chose 3N. What would you bid?
Now you are in game, how do you play it? West, thinking his partner had
clubs, led his fourth highest, taken by the ten on board. Declarer, hoping
that West might have two clubs, led to his ace, but was disappointed to see
East throw a heart. Declarer reasoned that, since East had only one club, he
should have two spades to go with his ten red cards. If spades split he
could count four spade tricks to go with three club and three diamond
tricks, for an overtrick. So he led a round of spades, ducked on board and
won by East. By now, East only had red cards left, so he took a high heart
and then led a low diamond to declarer’s ace. Declarer now took the king of
clubs and the ace and king of spades, finding out about the bad spade split
and ending on board. East had to throw away three more cards. He chose two
more hearts and a low diamond. Now, declarer took the king and queen of
diamonds, raising his total number of tricks to eight (three clubs, three
high diamonds and two high spades) and giving him a complete count on the
cards in East’s hand. Next, declarer led a diamond to East’s jack. East,
down to the ace and jack of hearts, was end played and forced to give
declarer the queen of hearts as his ninth trick. Somewhat messy play, but
three no trumps bid and made. Note that the alternative contract, 4S, goes
down, losing two spades and two hearts. What game did you choose?
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 www.bridgewebs.com/chiangmai.