Bridge column, July 30: When the fit's bad, don't be aggressive
Last week we looked at bidding aggressively when we had a good fit with partner. Obviously, the antithesis applies: When your partnership's hands do not have a fit, be circumspect. However, inexperienced players tend to do things in reverse. They underbid good-fit deals and get carried away with a misfit, hoping to find something that does not exist.
In today's deal, look at the North hand. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade, and he rebids two hearts. What would you do now?
South's two-heart rebid shows at least a six-card suit, fewer than four spades and 12 to 14 points. (Yes, he has only 11 high-card points, but that hand is worth a one-bid.) Your side's combined high-card power is 22 to 24, insufficient for game unless you have either a good fit or a long, running suit. In this instance, you know there isn't a good fit and you have no reason to assume you can run nine tricks in three no-trump. You have only two sensible options: pass and no bid!
Now let's look at two hearts. West leads the diamond jack. East takes dummy's queen with his ace and returns the suit. How should South continue?
Declarer has four side-suit losers (one spade, two diamonds and one club), so can afford only one trump loser. The best play is low to the queen. This succeeds whenever East has king-third or king-fourth. To start with low to the 10 wins only when East has jack-third, which is less likely. After the queen wins, declarer cashes his heart ace and drives out East's king.
** ** **
COPYRIGHT: 2012, UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE
DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL UCLICK FOR UFS