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Bridge 10/18

When in doubt, show your values

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Posted: October 17, 2007 1:23 p.m.
Updated: November 1, 2007 5:01 a.m.
    Some hands bid themselves, as the saying goes. In an uncontested auction, you have no problem picking each call when it is your turn. But occasionally you will be sitting there, wondering exactly what to do next. A good rule of thumb is to show where your high-card values lie. Look at the South hand. You open one club, and partner responds three hearts, which by your partnership agreement is a splinter bid. North is showing at least game-going values with five or more clubs and a singleton or void in hearts. What would you rebid?
    Your hand is primarily good news, except that your point-count is low. You have four clubs, when you might have had only three. And the heart ace opposite partner's singleton is excellent. I think you should rebid three spades, showing where you have some high-card values, and leave the next move to partner.     Instead, you might bid four clubs, confirming the trump suit and awaiting a control-bid (cue-bid) from partner. When he continues with four diamonds, you bid four hearts. Now, though, he will be nervous about spades. You should not bid three no-trump, which partner would probably pass, thinking you have wasted values in hearts.
    Over three spades, North might jump straight into Blackwood, or might temporize with a four-club bid. If he does the latter, you should bid four hearts, a control-bid showing your heart ace and slam interest.
    The simplest approach in six clubs is to play a dummy reversal, ruffing the board's two diamond losers in your hand. You will lose only one spade trick.
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