A Jackpot Coup|
West North East South David Toby p p 1H 1S 1NT p 2H p p 2S end (down 2, NS +100)
West North East South Jonathan John p p 1H 1S 1NT end (up 1, NS +120)
|The bidding looks pretty normal for the first round. South has a minimum semi-balanced hand, with help for his partner's spade guard, so there is no reason to bid again. Even if 1NT was forcing, bidding 2C would surely give partner the right picture of the hand.|
Opponents can prevent the jackpot coup in sevens by cashing two top trumps, but they evidently didn't.
|A spade was led, to the jack and king. Jonathan led the queen of hearts, and when this was ducked he had seven tricks. Disappopinted that opponents hadn't managed to defeat his contract, he found the danger play of leading another heart. East put up the ace and continued his partner's suit. Not to be deterred, Jonathan decided to put opponents in again, in case they had enough tricks to beat 1NT. Unfortunately, the AK of diamonds onside meant that they could do no more than cash two diamonds and a spade. Even so, Jonathan never took any of the hearts he had laboriously set up!|
On the use of weak twos|
West North East South David Toby 2H p p 3NT end (up 1, NS -630)
West North East South Jonathan John 1H p 1S x 2S end (down 4, NS -200)
|South's pre-empt is hardly a thing of beauty, but it makes East's bid tricky. 2NT, especially in protective seat, is an underbid, and double shows more spades, so Toby bid 3NT hoping for a heart lead. South duly obliged, and North continued the suit. Ten tricks are now easy.||South's pre-empt is hardly a thing of beauty, but bidding at the 1-level is just silly. East should probably protect with a second take-out double and collect 800.|
Eight Ever, Nine Never|
West North East South David Toby 1S p 2S x 4S 5C p 6C end (down 1, NS +50)
West North East South Jonathan John 1S p 2S 4H 4S 5H 5S x end (down 2, NS -300)
|2S was explained as "less than six points". Toby's hand is too good for an overcall, so he doubled. When David bid 5C over 4S, it was easy to bid the slam, which just relies on picking up the CQ.|
A heart was led, which David read for a singleton, meaning that most of the minor suit cards were with North. Most of the points were with South, however, so David had a tricky decision in playing the trump suit. He could have cashed both minor aces and led the DQ as a discovery play, expecting South to cover. If she did cover North could freely have the CQ, so running the CJ is correct. Unfortunately, David decided just to place the CQ in the strong hand :-(
|4H is a massive underbid, and is too unilateral, but happened to catch West with 4-card support. Jonathan thought for ages before sacrificing, and this one is plausible! EW can take 500 if a diamond is led, but they attacked hearts.|
6C: take two!|
West North East South David Toby 1C p 2S p 3S p 4NT p 5H p 6C end (making, NS -920)
West North East South Jonathan John 6C end (making, NS -920)
|Toby had a number of options for his response: 1S, 2C forcing raise, 2S jump-shift, 3D splinter or 4C very forcing raise. He decided that the main feature of his hand was the side suit and that the auction would be easier if he were to game-force immediately, so he bid 2S. This can either be a self-supporting spade suit or a strong two-suiter with club support. David had excellent spade support, so made the obvious bid. Toby decided that slam was likely, and all he needed to know about was the aces and the black suit kings. He therefore bid 4NT (Roman Keycard Blackwood in spades) and the 5H response showed two of the five keycards (four aces and SK), but denied the SQ. Toby now had to decide whether to protect his HK by playing in 6S or play in the better fit of 6C. He chose the latter as the odds of a club ruff or a bad trump split in 6S were too great. David was likely to have the HA or HQ or singleton anyway.|
I'll put up the real auction at table 2 if Jonathan can remember it!
not a non-fit non-jump|
West North East South David Toby 1S 2D x 2H 2S p p 3D p 3NT p 4H end (down 1, NS -50)
West North East South Jonathan John 1S 2D 3C p 3S p 4C p 4S end (making, NS -420)
|There are two likely meanings of David's 2H bid: either constructive, looking for game, or running from the potential penalty pass. Unfortunately, David was still confused from the previous match, and thought it was a fit non-jump. |
The previous one was a fit non-jump because neither of the above two meanings could apply - LHO couldn't penalty pass his partner's bid and David was a passed hand, so couldn't be game-going.
Toby wasn't sure which of these David meant, but was saved the trouble of having to guess when East bid 2S, as David had another chance to bid. When he took this chance, Toby assumed he was looking for game and had a reasonable hand for 3NT. David had an unreasonable hand for 3NT and "corrected" to the wrong suit.
|Jonathan isn't good enough to force to game. His hand's not great either :-) But he added two tricks for rightsiding the contract.
A heart was led. North won the king and continued in case South was singleton. John came in with the queen, and should have played the DK to keep North off lead, but instead chose the small diamond. Fortunately South assumed Jonathan must have had the DK to justify his bidding and went up with the ace. She then hesitated before playing another diamond, which John ruffed. Expecting South to have the SK because of her reluctance to lead trumps, he cashed the SA and then crossed to the CA and played the HA pitching a diamond (in case South hadn't really played the DA).