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  Oct. 27/99






by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish

 The weak two-bid has been around since the 1950s and its popularity is well-deserved. A textbook weak two looks much like today's West hand, perhaps with as much as a side king. When the opponents hold the stronger hands, the two-level opening steals valuable bidding space at little risk; opener should have roughly five tricks in his trump suit. At the same time, the bid is sufficiently descriptive that the two-bidder's partner shouldn't be badly placed when he has a strong hand. Not everyone sticks to the classical requirements, and today, we are sad to report, that almost any six-card suit (and some five-card suits) is acceptable. The emphasis is on obstruction.

Neither side vulnerable West deals



A J 10 8 7
A J 8 7 6

J 6

K Q J 10 7 6
9 6 4

8 5 3

Q 3 2
K Q 9 5 4 3 2

7 4

  A 9 8 5 3
K 5

A K Q 10 9 2


West North East South
2(1) Pass Pass 5
Pass 6 End  

(1) 6-card suit, 6-10 HCP

Opening Lead:

 West's 2
gave South a serious problem. He could pass and probably collect a modest penalty at 50 points a trick, bid some number of clubs, or take a stab at notrump. He decided against a conservative action and jumped all the way to 5, trying for the game bonus. North, with a hand that might have acted over 2, took a shot at slam.

 West led the
10 and declarer realised that he would not be able to trump more than one spade in dummy if West had a six-card spade suit. If the lead was from a short suit, it was quite likely that both hearts and trumps would behave reasonably. The six-one spade break might be good news rather than bad.

 Declarer played a low diamond from dummy, ruffed in his hand, played
A, spade ruff with the J, and drew trumps. Then he played K, heart to the nine and jack. East, out of spades and clubs, had no good answer. Even if he ducked, declarer would be sure to concede a heart to him, and the forced red-suit return would allow declarer to dispose of his spade losers on dummy's master red cards. The key play was to leave the A in dummy.

 The weak 2
opening had given North-South a hard ride in the bidding but had indicated an attractive line of play that declarer might not have considered against silent opponents.