Bridge column, July 13: One quandary of our game
Today's column highlights one of the tougher puzzles of bridge. Your side holds game-going high-card power, has only a minor-suit fit, and finds out that three no-trump is impossible. How do you judge when to bid game in the minor and when to stop at the four-level because there are three top losers?
South opened one club, West overcalled one spade, and North responded two hearts, which guaranteed at least a five-card suit and 10-plus points. Now East might have raised to two spades, but with such a weak, balanced hand, one can understand his pass.
After South's three-club rebid, North cue-bid three spades, asking South to convert to three no-trump with a spade stopper. Now East might have made a lead-directing double, but he passed again.
What should South have done now? She had no spade stopper or secondary heart support. Should she have rebid four clubs with her minimum high-card count, or jumped to five clubs because she had only two spades and solid trumps?
Her actual four-club bid almost ended the auction. North, noting East's silence, was worried that South had three low spades and that five clubs would lose the first three tricks. But eventually he gambled on game, which made easily.
As you will have gathered, I think South should have jumped to five clubs.
John Thaw was talking about his most famous role, Inspector Morse.
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