Goren Bridge Society

Spades or no trump

Today’s deal is from a competition in Australia, where the “weak” no trump, 12-14, is popular. Proponents show a 15-17 no trump by opening one of a minor and rebidding one no trump. When partner responds in opener’s four-card major, opener has a choice of rebids. North, with a completely flat hand, chose to rebid one no trump instead of raising spades. South made a quantitative raise and North finally showed his spade support at the six level.

South was Mike Cornell, a world champion from New Zealand. Had they played this deal in six no trump, declarer would have had to pick up two out of the three missing queens. In spades, however, Cornell showed that it was only necessary to find the queen of trumps, provided that the trumps split 3-2. It is slightly better to play West for the queen of spades, as you can pick up a possible queen-nine-fourth only in the West hand. Accordingly, Cornell won the opening club lead with dummy’s king, led a spade to his ace, and then led a spade to dummy’s jack. Success!

It was now a simple matter to draw the last outstanding trump, cash the ace and queen of clubs, and then cash the ace and king of hearts. Cornell then exited with a heart, not caring which opponent won the trick. Whichever opponent had the queen would be end played and forced to yield a ruff-sluff or break the diamond suit. Cornell just faced his cards and the opponents conceded. Nicely played!

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 8:08:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/spades-or-no-trump/article30829192.ece

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