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Play Bridge: How to complete a nice slam

North south vulnerable - Warren Watson
North south vulnerable
— image credit: Warren Watson

The next few columns will deal with hands that occurred in tournaments on Bridge Base Online.

This column is an example of the Two-Over-One game forcing system. North opens one heart, and South bids a new suit at the two-level showing what he deems to be the equivalent of an opening hand.

The bidding: South bids two diamonds, and now, the auction cannot end below game. North has a strong hand and makes a spade cuebid. This bid followed by a notrump or diamond bid shows a stronger hand than bidding notrump or diamonds directly.

South makes a temporizing bid which allows North to show diamond support below three No Trump. South then jumps to five diamonds to show enough values for five diamonds and not much more, but a hand not suited for three No Trump with likely six diamonds or longer.

North can see lots of wiggle room and bids slam.

The Lead: A heart or diamond lead is ridiculous and normally the Jack of clubs is the safest, but because of South’s three club bid, West leads a small spade.

The play: There is lots of wiggle room, because there are three ways declarer can make the contract. He can pitch a heart on the third spade and take a ruffing finesse in hearts, or he can take a straight finesse in hearts and then the ruffing finesse, or he can ruff a club in the short-trump hand.

Declarer takes door number three and loses a club at trick two, ruffs a club and then draws trump and claims.

Result: Six diamonds makes for +1370.

Note: The Trail Summer Sectional Bridge Tournament is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Trail curling rink.

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