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Notts To4: Uni v Goulash
(Page of 4)

In the first year of its existence, Nottingham Universities' Bridge Club (NUBC) are joined by two non-student county players, Steve Raine and Ankush Khandelwal, to make a team for the Nottinghamshire summer teams of four league. As a new team we're in the second division, and our first game was against Goulash. The team for this match was myself and Ivan Brajković, with Steve partnering Hanna Tuus.

The first swing was on board 3, and highlighted the benefits of loose preempts. From my point of view sitting South, the bidding on our table seemed uneventful:

West
86
A96532
J763
5
North
AQ9
K874
K
A10973
East
K1043
QJ
Q109
KQJx
South
J752
10
A8542
862
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
P
P
P
D
3
1NT North
NS: 0 EW: 0

The 1NT call by North seems reasonable: the strength is appropriate and you'd prefer not to reverse with such poor suits if you have an alternative option. East doesn't have a call over a strong NT, and the K lead allowed declarer's 5-card suit to be set-up for +120.

At the other table, Hanna opened a weak 2 with the West hand which North overcalled 2NT. This was doubled and, after a different defence (I presume a heart lead from the bidding), was down 2 for +300. 9 IMPs to the good guys.

Some might balk at the 2 call at this vulnerability, but with 6-4 shape it seems fine. You're highly unlikely to be punished, and if partner goes to game in your suit you have enough playing strength. 3NT going off is your only real worry, but it might still make if partner drives you there.

Of course light preempts can be painful, and we felt that pain only a few boards later. On board 6 I was presented with the following hand and auction:

South
1065
K42
KQJ64
72
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
3
X
?

Without a weak 2 in diamonds (we play constructive weak 2s and a weaker Multi 2) you pass in second seat, and are delighted to hear a weak jump overcall in your suit from partner. How high do you take it? Game seems certain for the opponents, with slam possible, and the vulnerability is perfect. The lack of a singleton is a shame, and Kxx in LHO's suit is disappointing, but with those trump honours I chose 5. This was passed round to East, who doubled.

West
AQ42
AQJ76
3
1094
North
J83
83
A109875
KJ
East
K97
1095
2
AQ8653
South
1065
K42
KQJ64
72
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
3
X
5
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
6
5X North
NS: 0 EW: 0

Partner's preempt has a fair few flaws (6-card suit, flat distribution, honours in a doubleton), but the vulnerability is enticing. 5x was 4 down, for -800, one too many against an opposing game. Unfortunately game wasn't reached at the other table. The bidding there was:

W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
P
P

2 was an unfortunate call, showing a minimum or sub-minimum. It's not immediately clear how good to value that hand (I would have jumped to game, vulnerable), but it's worth a 2 call at least. 12 tricks are available in hearts, and +230 is never a good score.

Evaluation was a big part of the hand before. My partner had the following decision to make:

North
K864
K1087
K106
K5
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
2
2
P
3
P
?

Your hand is a minimum opening bid, but the auction has changed this somewhat. Your Kx in clubs is golden sitting over a 2 overcall, and KT87 looks good as a trump suit. In general, all four kings are likely to be pulling full value in this position. Add the vulnerability, and this hand is worth a shot at game - a decision that was worth 10 IMPs.

West
92
AQ
J52
AQJ1098
North
K865
K1087
K<