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Bridge 6/22

A jump cue may be a try for no-trump

    What does it mean if your right-hand opponent opens one of a suit and you make an immediate jump cue-bid, overcalling three of that suit?
    The present expert agreement is that a jump cue over a minor is natural, equivalent to a weak jump overcall. But over a major, it asks partner to bid three no-trump with a stopper in the opener's suit. The intervenor will have a long, solid minor and some expectation of nine quick tricks if his partner can control the opener's suit.
    Look at North's hand. What should he bid over West's one-heart opening bid? No number of diamonds appeals; and if North makes a takeout double, partner might never stop bidding spades. The three-heart jump cue is the most accurate description.
With a heart stopper, South bids three no-trump as asked. (If he hadn't held the heart king, he would have bid four clubs, just in case partner had seven or eight clubs to the A-K-Q.)
West guesses well. Knowing that declarer has the heart king, he tries a surprise attack by leading the club four.
    The normal play for declarer is low from the board to guarantee a stopper in the suit. Here, though, that is wrong. If East wins the first trick, what will he do? Right — he'll shift to a high heart, and West is known to have the ace. So South must maximize his chances of keeping East off the lead. He must call for the club king, and here take the first 10 tricks instead of losing the first seven — a four-trick difference.

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