Connect with friends and sharpen your grey cells.L. Subramanian

Today’s deal features one of the best concepts proposed on bidding, in recent times. After you finish reading, you will certainly agree that it is a fantastic idea. With neither side vulnerable, your partner, sitting north, opens 1C first-in-hand. East overcalls 1H. You hold as south S K-7 H Q-8-4-3 D A-J-7-5 C K-8-2. What do you bid?

You cannot make a negative double as you don’t have four cards in spades. A simple cue-bid of 2H by you would be a limit raise or better, suggesting five or more clubs with 10+ points.

Fortunately for you, you have a stopper in hearts and an opening hand yourself. 3NT suggests itself, you say.

The complete hands were:

How the play went: West led the H6. East inserted the nine to drive out the queen from declarer’s hand. When declarer played a club to dummy’s queen, east won and cashed out the hearts to defeat the contract.

Did it occur to you that if north declares 3NT the defence will be powerless?

How on earth are we going to make north declare the contract?

The idea suggested by Marty Bergen is to bid 3H, a jump cue-bid! It says: ‘Partner, please bid 3NT. It may be advantageous if it is played from your side. I have a stopper in the overcalled suit and an opening hand.’

So, the bidding should go:

What has happened is that the number of stoppers has increased from one to two, because you right-sided the contract. If east does not lead hearts, you gain tempo.

Opener bids 3NT, irrespective of what he has. What an idea!

More combinations are given below:

If south declares and west leads the suit, he is gone. If north declares and east leads the suit, he runs it to his queen.

If south declares and west leads the suit through the ten, the defence will be a step ahead in the race. If north declares and east leads the queen, he can win with the ace and retain a tenace position. If west has no entry and east has to lead, he cannot attack the suit again without losing a trick.

If south declares and west leads the suit, the defence will quickly establish four tricks. If north declares, the defence cannot set up tricks at once.

This jump cue-bid as a transfer to 3NT is available only against one level overcalls, which is usually in a major.

So, don’t rush to bid 3NT. Allow partner to declare the contract instead!

Email: ls4bridge@gmail.com