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Event

Bridge 9/18

The big jump with a long suit

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Posted: September 17, 2008 6:11 p.m.
Updated: October 2, 2008 5:00 a.m.

    David Lloyd George, the only Welshman to be Prime Minister of Great Britain, said, "Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps.
    The bidding starts as in the diagram: (one diamond) — double — (pass) — ?? If the advancer (South) bids one spade, it is natural with 0-8 points. If he jumps to two spades, it shows 9-11 points. But what about leaps to three spades and four spades?
    They do not describe stronger and stronger hands, because with 12-plus points South would cue-bid two diamonds. Instead, they show relatively weak hands in high-card terms, but ones with a lloonngg suit. Three spades would promise a seven-card suit (or very good six-carder), and four spades an eight-bagger (or very good seven-carder). So in this deal South jumps to three spades. West, knowing his partner must be weak, passes, and North raises to game.
    West cashes two diamond tricks, then shifts to the heart king. How should South continue?
    Declarer has four losers: one spade, one heart and two diamonds. He has only nine winners: six spades, one heart and two clubs. To get a 10th trick, and simultaneously to discard his heart loser, South must take three clubs. And he must get them immediately. If he plays a trump at trick four, he will go down.
    After winning trick three with dummy's heart ace, declarer plays a club to his king, followed by a club to dummy's jack. When the finesse works, declarer's heart loser disappears on the club ace and the contract comes home.

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