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Common Game 2020-02-04 Board 5
West
97
95
A6532
K865
North
K8643
K82
94
Q104
East
Q2
7643
KJ87
AJ2
South
AJ105
AQJ10
Q10
973
D
5
West
North
East
South
P
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
P
X
P
2NT
3
P
P
P

Analysis by Michael Berkowitz

Send your children out of the room for this one--it's not for sensitive eyes. North passes and East passes in most systems. South will open the auction in 3rd seat. I think you could open 1, but that's not very helpful for partner. I would open this nice heart suit in case the opponents wind up taking the contract so that partner knows what to lead. This also has a bit of preemptive value as we'll see. West now passes (and could have overcalled if we opened 1). North could simply raise to 2. Bidding 1 gives you a little more flexibility (and you're not unhappy if partner passes). East passes and South raises to 2. West and North pass, but East shouldn't sell out to this. Being non vulnerable makes balancing with a takeout double clear cut. South passes and West's 2NT shows the minors, which would allow West to play in a 4-4 club fit if it existed. North bids 3 following the LAW of Total Tricks and with a double-fit with partner.

East is on lead and unhappy. A diamond could be right, but it's a scary suit to lead from. Holding four little hearts, though, might cause East to try getting aggressive thinking dummy will be able to take a lot of heart tricks. If the East-West pair cashes the first 5 tricks, then declarer needs to guess the spade suits to escape for down one. Eight ever nine never is a catchy rhyme, but only right (in the case of nine) a little more than half the time. If declarer has a hunch that East is short in spades, she might suffer -200.

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