AN UNEXPECTED RESULT
This hand came up in club play recently and illustrates a bidding problem for newer players. We teach that you bid your longest suit on hands like this one, but the problem for many new players is that the hand has two biddable suits. We also stress the major suits in our lessons, so the player who bid 1 heart remembered the one lesson but not the other. The bidding then progressed rapidly to the game level when the opener's partner properly made sure their side was in game by bidding 4 hearts.
This auction gave the impression that the east-west side held 9 or 10 hearts with some outside values, and the north player felt that his weak hand held no prospects for defeating the heart game. He therefore bid 4 spades, hoping his partner would go down no more than 2 doubled for a minus 300 instead of the minus 420 he thought was coming.
West duly doubled this contract, and Katey Levihn proceeded to score 10 tricks when east could not trump the third round of diamonds.
Let us imagine an auction started with a bid of 1 club in the east, and an overcall of 1 spade by south. Now west, with his opening hand, club honors and spade stopper, might very well bid 3 notrump. This contract is cold on a spade lead, with 6 club and 2 diamond tricks. Now the south player would have to climb to 4 spades on her own in the knowledge that there are spade values to her left and may well decide to defend 3 notrump.
The Christmas season approaches, and we will have our daytime event on Friday, December 9, at 11:30 a.m. The evening party will be Thursday, December 8, at 6 p.m. Everyone interested in bridge is welcome to come, even if you don't want to play the game. RSVP at 327-0166. We will also hold a Sectional Tournament at Clubs (ST@C) December 5-8. Each session will be at our regular game time, with stratification and hand records. For those who do well and win or place, the payoff will be in silver points.