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Intermediate two diamonds

Both vulnerable - Warren Watson
Both vulnerable
— image credit: Warren Watson

We have seen that an opening of two diamonds can be used as weak or a one-and-a-half notrump. Some people feel that the opponents compete too easily over a weak two diamonds and open two diamonds with six diamonds and 11 to 15 HCP’s. Using two diamonds as a weak two is the only bid that does not need an alert and prior agreement.

The bidding: South opens two diamonds showing six diamonds, no four-card major and 11 to 15 high card points. North bids two notrump as Ogust asking about the quality of South`s suit and hand. A three-club response shows a minimum hand and a suit that does not have two of the top three honours. Therefore, North decides to let South play three diamonds.

The Lead: Not the ace of spades. West does not have enough trump to ruff so he hardly wants to set up a suit that likely belongs to the opponents. West leads his fourth best heart.

The play: South wins the ace of hearts and plays a small diamond to his jack. It loses and West exits a heart, his fifth best. West wants to keep his defensive footprint low by not opening another suit for the declarer. Any time the defense opens a suit by leading it for the first time, it may save declarer a trick.

South wins his king and ruffs his third heart and then plays the last diamond in dummy to his ten. It wins and he cashes the ace of trump drawing East’s third and last trump.

Declarer leads the jack of spades which West wins. West knows declarer has six cards left, three of which are trump. Therefore West cashes his ace of clubs since South can pitch a club on dummy’s spades.

Result: 3DS+1 for +130

Note: Against notrump by North, East should lead a major because the opponents did not explore for a major fit. With likely no entries, East leads the eight of hearts.

Do You Have The Basics? Q6: Partner leads the Ace of clubs, and you have K432, what club do you play under the ace and what club do you first discard using standard signals? See column 176 at watsongallery.ca for the answer.

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