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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

This board posed a bidding challenge for EW. Both sides were vulnerable and West dealt. Imagine you are East. The bidding started as shown. So, what do you bid now?

Your partner is a passed hand, but is willing to mention a new suit vulnerable at the three levels, so must have something good. With your diamond holding, there surely should be no diamond losers. You have 19 high card points, excellent spades and the ace of clubs. Your partner must have some values outside diamonds to justify bidding at all, since he certainly does not have more than one of the top three diamonds. So what do you bid now?

What did you decide? There were all sorts of contracts at the table. With all the points in your hand, you cannot stop short of game, but which game? With your club stopper, three no trumps is a possibility (hoping your partner’s points are in hearts to provide a stopper there). One table took this route and made all thirteen tricks, for a top. Five diamonds is probably a safer choice. One table bid this and made an overtrick. Four spades is a riskier contract, since there are only seven trumps between the two hands. Another table chose this and took all thirteen tricks, with the spades splitting three-three and the queen onside. However the optimum contract is six diamonds, only found at one table.

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 website

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Bridge in Paradise