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Facing higher pre-empts with a misfit
This hand is similar to that in last week’s column except that South has a void in his partners suit and not clubs. This makes a huge difference. Misfit hands typically need more points to make a contract than hands with one or two good fits.
The bidding: South has a perfect three level pre-empt with six points and a one-loser trump suit. East and West have nothing to say. North thinks for several minutes and passes.
His partner made a not vulnerable pre-empt so it is likely that he may never see the diamonds unless diamonds are trump. North has five losers in four spades so his pass is a good one.
Both North and South have suits that are playable but this makes little difference because of the misfits. A playable suit is a suit that can be played quite well in spite of partner’s holding in that suit.
Dummy may be void or have no side entries, and this makes no difference to a playable suit. A playable suit will have touching honours and a good playable suit will have first or second round control. An example of a suit that is not playable is KJxxx and a suit that is playable is KQJxx.
The contract: Three diamonds by South
The opening lead: The king of hearts
The play: South ducks the opening lead and wins the continuation with the ace of hearts. He then knocks out the ace of spades and East has no hearts to return. Declarer will draw trump and pitch a heart and a club on the good spades.
South will lose a spade, a heart, and a diamond to make his contract.
The result: Three diamonds by South making plus one for +130
Notes: All the published bridge columns can be found on my web site at http://watsongallery.ca/bridge/column.htm.
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-Beginner bridge columns will start in the new year after I have reached the end of the convention card topics. Email me for the pamphlet to accompany these columns.