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   Nov.  20/99

 

JUST BRIDGE...

 

RISK FIVE, TRY TO SURVIVE

 

by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish

 

 Ask yourself how you would bid the North hand after responding 1 to 1 and hearing partner rebid 2 (showing a suit of at least six cards). You could jump to 4 or 3NT, of course, but South will always pass the former and often pass the latter when slam is a good proposition. North has five honor cards that are likely to be "working" and those jumps to game are simply inadequate. It would be nice if a simple 2NT were forcing, but in standard methods that is not so. North will have to invent a force by bidding 3 or 3 on a three-card suit, and neither of those actions would be comfortable. The problem is that North has extra values but not enough of them to insist on slam. All of which might help to explain why our North jump-shifted to 2, sending this message: "I have a strong hand but I need some cooperation in choosing a level; I am not strong enough to drive to slam." This style was very different from the "powerhouse" jump shift idea espoused in most American textbooks written before 1970.

North-South vulnerable South deals

  A K 9 6 3
Q 5
K 5 2

A 6 4

   
  Q 2
K 10 7 6 4 3
A J 6

K 10

West North East South
      1
Pass 2 Pass 3
Pass 3NT Pass 4
Pass 4 Pass 4NT
Pass 5 End  



Opening Lead:
3

 Although North got his hand "off his chest" early, South had a good hand himself (note that slam would be excellent if North held the
J instead of the 5) and went past game. In the end he guessed to pass 5 although only one ace was missing. Quite high enough you might say. After a club lead to the jack and king, then a trump to the queen (nine from East), how will you (South) play in order to avoid an ignominious defeat in "your" freely-bid five-level contract. As there is no extra bonus for bidding and making 5, 5, 4NT, or 5NT, making your precarious contract will be its own reward.

 At the table our declarer continued with
A, club ruff, three high spades to discard a diamond, then ace-king and a diamond ruff. Declarer was down to king-ten-seven of trumps, West was reduced to the ace-jack-eight. Declarer exited with the K and West found that his three natural trump tricks had been reduced to two.

 North was Eric Murray, South Sami Kehela.

 

The four hands:

  A K 9 6 3
Q 5
K 5 2

A 6 4

7 5 4
A J 8 2
10 9 7

Q 7 3

J 10 8
9
Q 8 4 3

J 9 8 5 2

  Q 2
K 10 7 6 4 3
A J 6

K 10