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Best hand of the Trials?

West
QJ542
AJ1094
7
32
North
1096
3
KQ9842
AQ9
East
73
K87
653
87654
South
AK8
Q652
AJ10
KJ10
W
N
E
S
P
1
2
2
3
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
3
8
2
0
0
1
J
8
7
5
1
1
1
2
3
A
7
3
2
1
J
2
4
5
3
3
1
10
4
K
6
1
4
1
Q
7
8
4
1
5
1
A
4
10
2
1
6
1
9
5
J
3
3
7
1
K
10
Q
6
3
8
1
6
9
9
12 tricks claimed
N/S +920
10

This was board 27 of the second day of the USA 1 Final (board 87 of the match). Positions have been changed for convenience.

John Kranyak was South. When his partner showed a game-forcing hand with diamonds and RHO bid 3, he was able to picture his partner’s likely hand. Then, having accomplished that, he then planned the entire play DURING THE AUCTION. He was going to make the hand on a trump squeeze, as long as he did not get an initial spade lead (and a heart lead seemed far more likely).

Planning the play during the bidding is something I always try to consider – and this is a world-class example of doing this. Color me impressed.

Another thing to consider from this hand; when it went pass – 1 to me, I was a little leery about bidding 2. Facing a passed partner, I am loath to make a bid that more or less reveals my entire hand unless I think I have a good chance to become the declaring side – thus giving the opponents a road map on how to play if they declare.

So, while 2 is the ‘normal’ bid, it is perhaps not the wisest one.

Indeed, in the other room, the player in my seat (I think it was Kevin Dwyer) overcalled in a major suit. Which one? Well, again, many would think it’s more normal to overcall in the stronger suit – hearts. But he overcalled 1, perhaps on the clever principle of having the ‘better’ suit as a surprise attack in 3NT. This especially makes sense when the suits you hold are majors (where the opponents’ most likely game is 3NT).

Indeed, after the 1 overcall, my teammates reached 3NT-down on a heart lead.

A lot of gourmet food for thought on this hand….

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