Join Bridge Winners
A Moral Victory
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Matchpoints, club game.

You hold:

South
AK1074
AQ53
87
63
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
?

Your call?

South
AK1074
AQ53
87
63
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
?

Your hand is worth a game force. You would like to play in a major suit contract if you have a fit, or 3NT if you don't.

If you bid 2 here, in some systems that is not a forcing bid. There is a convention that can help with this.

The New Minor Forcing bid creates a one-round force and shows invitational values or better. On this hand you would bid 2.

The opening bidder bids 2 of the responder's major if he has three card support, 4 of the other major if he has four of those and not three of your major, or 2NT if he has neither of them.

You bid 2 and partner bids 2. Your partner has three spades. Do you bid game now?

 

South
AK1074
AQ53
87
63
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
?

Although your partner has three spades, it is possible that he also has four hearts. 

Why is it desireable to play in a possible 4-4 heart fit instead of a 5-3 spade fit? The reason is that if you play a 4-4 heart fit and draw trumps, the spade suit will provide discards, but if you play in the 5-3 spade fit, the heart suit will not provide discards.

I think the right bid is 3 here. It is forcing. 

So you bid 3 and partner raises to 4. The lead is the J....

West
North
QJ9
KJ106
J543
A4
East
South
AK1074
AQ53
87
63
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
1
P
1N
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
A
7
3
1
1
0
1

You win the ace. 

Do you see how the 4-4 heart fit works? If hearts are 3-2, you can draw trumps and run spades, discarding your club loser and a diamond loser. You lose two diamonds and you make 5. If hearts are 4-1, you can draw all the trumps and run spades and you take four heart tricks, five spades, and the A for the same 10 tricks as you have in a spade contract. 

Trumps will split 3-2 a whopping 68% of the time. Trumps will split 4-1 28% of the time. The 5-0 split happens 4% of the time.

Here's how the play would go if trumps are 3-2....

West
8653
84
AQ9
KJ108
North
QJ9
KJ106
J543
A4
East
2
972
K1062
Q9752
South
AK1074
AQ53
87
63
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
1
P
1N
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
1
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
A
7
3
1
1
0
K
2
3
4
1
2
0
J
7
5
8
1
3
0
6
9
A
9
3
4
0
4
3
Q
2
1
5
0
J
9
7
5
1
6
0
9
2
A
6
3
7
0
K
8
3
2
3
8
0
10
8
4
6
3
9
0
6
10
10
5
1
10
0
4
10
7
Q
0
10
1
A
5
K
8
0
10
2
K
J
Q
Q
3
11
2
N/S +450
13

So you play a heart....

Unfortunately, at the table, hearts were 5-0!

West
8653
AQ1096
KJ108
North
QJ9
KJ106
J543
A4
East
2
98742
K2
Q9752
South
AK1074
AQ53
87
63
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
1
P
1N
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
1
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
A
7
3
1
1
0
1

So, instead of a great board, we got a bottom board. But this is one bottom board that I was happy with.

 

When you find a good trump fit, try looking for a better one, if one is possible.

4-4 fits play well a lot of the time.

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