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Bridge 4/17
Another myth that surrounds one club
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This week, we are looking at the myths that surround a one-club opening.
    Here is a sentence I have often heard: "A one-club opening asks for a major."
    A one-club opening is not Stayman, which does ask for a major. True, after a one-club opening, the responder will show a major if that is the correct bid with his hand. But the opener has not promised any length in the majors — his hand could have, for example, 0-0-5-8 distribution, when he could not care one iota about his partner's majors.
    A one-club opening just indicates at least 12 high-card points (well, maybe a savory 11) and three or more clubs. The opener's hand could be balanced, one-suited, two-suited or three-suited — no one but the opener knows.
    South, with such a strong hand, must respond one diamond. That could be the right trump suit for a slam. But when North rebids two clubs, which shows 12-14 points and at least a six-card suit, South bids what he hopes he can make.
    Now for a play problem. If you were South, the declarer in three no-trump, how would you play after West leads a low spade and East puts up the eight?
    The correct line is to take the first trick with the spade ace and to establish dummy's club suit. East will duck the first round of clubs, but you will later reach the dummy by overtaking your spade jack with dummy's king. You must get at least two spades, one heart, one diamond and five clubs.
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