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Bridge 6/23

We get wild with a crazy leap

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    When an opponent opens one heart and you immediately make a two-heart overcall, that is a Michaels Cue-Bid, showing five spades and a five-card minor.
But suppose the opening bid is a weak two hearts. What does a three-heart cue-bid mean?
    It could be Michaels, but it is preferable to use the three-level cue-bid to ask partner to bid three no-trump with a stopper in the opener's suit. You have a long, solid minor and some expectation of running nine quick tricks. With a strong Michaels two-suited hand, jump to four of your minor, which is forcing (unless partner has a real misfitting dog).
    In this example deal, North uses Leaping Michaels, showing a powerful spade-diamond two-suiter. South, with an excellent fit for those suits, jumps to five spades to say that he wants to be in slam unless North also has two fast heart losers.
    Against six spades, West leads the heart ace and continues with a low heart.
    Since you know East is now out of hearts, you must ruff with dummy's spade queen.
    Next, count to 12. You have five diamond tricks and the club ace on the side. So you need six trump tricks. This requires two heart ruffs in the dummy, which will be no problem if the missing spades are splitting 2-2 or 3-1, but what if they are 4-0?
    The correct play is a spade to your jack (or ace) at trick three. If both opponents follow suit, draw trumps and claim. But when West discards, ruff a heart with dummy's spade king, finesse East out of his spade 10, and run for home.
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