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Friends to Follow

Bridge 10/23

Partner, you like, but I do not

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    Calvin Coolidge said, "If you don't say anything, you won't be called on to repeat it."
    In yesterday's column, the dealer opened two no-trump, and responder bid three diamonds, a transfer showing five or more hearts and any point-count. The opener had five hearts and a super hand for play in that suit. He conveyed that to his partner by rebidding four clubs, an advanced control-bid (cue-bid), which said, "Partner, I love hearts, I have the club ace, but I do not have the spade ace." In that deal, responder leapt to six hearts. But what would he have done if he had no slam interest?
    He would have repeated the transfer at the four-level, rebidding four diamonds — as North does in this deal.
    North transferred with three diamonds, planning to continue with three no-trump if partner rebid three hearts. When South rebid three spades, showing that ace and a super hand for hearts, North repeated the transfer with four diamonds, so that the stronger hand could be the declarer.
    After West led the diamond jack against four hearts, how did South play?
    Note that if four hearts is declared by North, East would lead the club queen, and the defense would take three clubs and one heart. Now, though, South immediately cashes his three top diamonds, discarding two clubs from the board. Then he drives out the heart ace, losing one heart and two clubs.
    As President Coolidge might have added, "If you always pass, you won't be called on to repeat a transfer."
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