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Common Game 2014-09-07 Board 2
West
J
AKQ8
74
KQ10972
North
KQ942
10654
52
J4
East
8763
J2
AKQ83
63
South
A105
973
J1096
A85
D
2
West
North
East
South
P
P
1
P
1
P
1
P
1
P
3
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
5
P
P
P

Analysis by David Loeb

The Bidding:
East's hand fails the Rule of 20 and "Suggestion of 22" for an opener. Some might venture a five-card Weak Two in diamonds given the favorable vulnerability. East's hand would make a fine dummy for a spade contract. The Ace-King-Queen fifth of diamonds is valuable on offense or defense. Passing seems best.

After West opens 1, North has a choice between overcalling 1 and passing. With just six HCP, East is light for an overcall. However a 1 overcall has lead directional value and is somewhat obstructive. Opposite a passed hand, many experts are willing to take more liberties. Partner may well be on lead, and North has little assistance to offer outside of spades. At matchpoints where going for a number costs only one board and a trick saved on the opening lead can have substantial value, there is a lot be said for a 1 overcall. North will pass at most tables.

East's response will vary by partnership agreement. Those playing a full blown Walsh style style will bypass their fine five-card diamond suit and respond 1. East would respond 1 when holding a four-card major only with game forcing values. At other tables, East will respond where they live by bidding 1.

If East-West's style is to bid up the line, the auction will begin 1-1-1-1 with North-South passing. West will now show their playing strength with a jump to 3. East has the values to push to game, but has concern about the spade suit. At a minimum, East would like to give West the chance to protect a positional spade stopper. So East will bid 3. West, without a spade stopper, will bid 3, open to the possibility of playing in a four-three heart fit. East will be forced to bid 4. When East fails to show a spade stopper, West can infer East values are working well and will proceed to 5.

If East-West are playing full blown Walsh style, East will bypass their fine diamond suit to bid 1 with less than game forcing values. West now has a choice between reversing into hearts or jumping to 3. West's hand has great offensive potential but is a bit light for a reverse. A jump to 3 seems best. With no positional stoppers, East will bid 3 to allow West to declare a notrump contract. West, with no positional stoppers in hearts, will bid 3 to allow partner to declare the notrump contract to field a potential spade lead. East can infer West has shortness in diamonds or spades. Otherwise, West might have opened or rebid notrump. East can run to 4. West, knowing partner does not have a spade stopper, will expect partner's values to be fitting well and will bid 5.

The Play:
Declarer needs to avoid two club losers and cannot allow the defense to navigate a ruff. Declarer will lead a low club from dummy and play the King or the Queen. When the King (or Queen) holds can Declarer assume South has the Ace? Not at all, it is routine for an expert to duck the Ace. Ace-Jack doubleton being an exception. On the second round of clubs, Declarer must guess whether to play South for Ace third or Jack third.

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