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Common Game 2018-01-13 Board 6
West
32
765
9
AQJ10853
North
K9
A1092
KJ852
97
East
J85
Q843
A64
K42
South
AQ10764
KJ
Q1073
6
D
6
West
North
East
South
P
1
3
X
P
3
P
P
P

Analysis by Craig Hemphill

Preempts are designed to make life difficult for the opponents, and West's vulnerable 3 bid is no different: North has a rather easy Negative Double , but what should South do? 3 would tend to deny the sixth spade and a relatively good suit, it would appear, but bidding a new suit probable shows a bit more in terms of playing value, and the singleton club suggests making a forward-looking bid. After 3 by South, North might bid 4, seeking clarification, and South will surely then bid 4, which would become the final contract. Overcoming the effects of preempts requires tools and experience.

Those are the arguments in favor of 3 by South after the Negative Double. 3 would tend to deny an aggressive outlook, and North would be hard-pressed to "see" the singleton club in the South hand. Perhaps North could summon enough courage to pass 3. Today that pessimism would pay off to the one defense that holds spades to nine tricks: a diamond to the ace, a suit-preference 4 ruffed, and the underlead of the A to East's king for a second diamond ruff.

Dream on, at least for the vast majority of players. 4 will be bid and made at almost all tables, and even when not bid, the defense outlined above will be missed at over 95% of tables.

So in the long run, with these precise NS cards, bidding game will be rewarded. But that still leaves the question of South's second bid: 3 as a forward-going sound, or 3 which sounds like putting on the breaks?

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