Connect with friends; sharpen the grey cells.L. SUBRAMANIAN

Today’s deal is from an IMP match. With NS vulnerable, the south player picked up the following lovely hand and just as he was wondering what his partner might have and how the bidding would go, his RHO, east opened 1H.

To start with, he doubled for take-out. LHO raised to 2H and after two passes, he had another decision to make. South chose to bid 3H. North bid 3S and south had to decide once again what to do. He bid 4N (RKC). North’s reply of 5C was disappointing and south stopped at 5S.

The complete hands were:

How the defence went: With north becoming declarer, east cashed the DA, put his partner in with HK, and obtained a diamond ruff to beat the contract.

Do you approve of south’s bidding? I know you don’t; neither do I.

Bidding comment: The take-out double was eminently correct. A 2S bid at his second turn would have suggested a five-card suit and 18+ points. As he has extra length, south should have bid a more descriptive 3S, suggesting the type of hand that he has, and requesting partner to bid game with the slightest excuse. In this hand, north will only be too glad to bid game for he has a fair five-card suit, and a doubleton club.

His choice of 3H was an overbid. Normally, a cue-bid after making a take-out double should indicate three-suiter hand of the 5-4-4-0/4-4-4-1 type or semi three-suiter hand of the 5-4-3-1 type with 22 points or more, something like

A) S A-K-J-x H x D A-Q-J-x C A-K-x-x

B) S K-Q-J-x H x D A-K-Q-x-x C A-K-x

What about the 4N bid?

The 3S bid of north did not promise a good hand. It was a forced bid and he could well have had S x-x-x-x H x-x-x D Q-x-x C x-x-x. Ten tricks is not a guarantee, here. Having found a nine-card fit, south should have been content to raise partner to game, i.e. bid 4S. If partner has a good hand, he can bid 4N (RKC).

There was the real danger of east having opened the bid with two aces which south should have taken that into account before bidding 4N. Though he did not bid slam but stopped in 5S, there was no need to get there and suffer the ruff and go down in the contract. 4N was a terrible overbid, to say the least. Even if north shows an ace, slam may not be on.

In the replay, EW saved in 5H. It was doubled and they gave away 300 to NS

Two valid points emerge from today’s hand: 1) it is important to choose an appropriate bid to describe your hand accurately. 2) Once you have shown a very good hand, it is better to leave the final decision to partner.

Email: ls4bridge@gmail.com