By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bridge 10/20
Placeholder Image
    Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, "You cannot run away from weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or perish."
    You cannot run away from a weak suit; you must hope partner can cover your losers or perish.
    Look at the South hand in the diagram. You open one spade. After partner raises to two spades, what would you do?
    If you use the Losing Trick Count, you have six losers: two spades, one heart and three clubs. This means that you should make a game-try.
    If you evaluate using support points, now that you know of at least a nine-card spade fit, you may add three points for your singleton, giving you 16 support points. Your hand is worth a game-try.
    But will four spades perish because of your club weakness?
    We come to the strange part. To make a game-try, bid a weak suit, asking partner to look at this suit, not at his overall strength. You should rebid three clubs, not three diamonds (or three spades). This is called a help-suit game-try because you want partner to have help — high cards or shortage — in the suit just named.
    Then North, although he has only six high-card points, should happily jump to four spades because he has an excellent club holding with the best high card and shortage.
    Note, though, that if North's minors were interchanged, four spades would have no play, losing at least one heart and three clubs. Here you will lose only one spade, one heart and one club. Your third club will be ruffed on the board.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter