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Common Game 2019-02-09 Board 7
West
KQ875
8
K964
K72
North
A642
1065
QJ53
A8
East
1093
AKJ4
A108
963
South
J
Q9732
72
QJ1054
D
7
West
North
East
South
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2
P
P
P

Analysis by Craig Hemphill

Contrary to popular belief, New Minor Forcing (2 in the present auction) is not limited to the tunnel vision of showing three cards in support of partner. It can and should be used to seek a 4-4 fit in the other major (hearts), usually a preferable contract to a 5-3 fit. It can and should also be used to force game and potentially seek slam in opener's minor suit -- different hand, different auction.

When spades are the first response, New Minor Forcing ought to clarify the heart situation first. Give hearts the priority by showing possession of four in that strain. When a heart fit is found, you will be ahead of those who don't follow this simple procedure.

When hearts are not of interest, responder clarifies. Here, the 2 bid shows just 11 HCP and a fifth spade.

East may pass and should pass, despite holding three spades, when West's strength is defined as less than game forcing and East's values are minimal in HCP and poor in distribution.

If West had a game forcing hand without club support, 3NT would be appropriate over 2, and East would then convert, belatedly but firmly, to 4.

As it is, 2 is a fine and safe contract with no risk of having missed game.

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