East west vulnerable

Play Bridge: Partner raises with limited defense

Tips and tricks for bridge players

The last column showed a case where the pre-empter was two-suited and bid again when partner was silent. This week, the pre-empter has the same hand and bids again after partner makes a raise of the pre-empt suit. He does this at favourable vulnerability and with the assumption that partner makes a raise with three-card not two cards or fewer.

When one is bidding game, the golden fit is eight cards, however when one is making a sacrifice or competing at the three-level or higher, the golden fit is nine or ten cards.

When one raises partner’s pre-empt, one is clearly making a statement that one’s hand is better for offense not defense. With a doubleton or shorter in the pre-empt suit and a few defensive values, one would not further the pre-empt.

The bidding: South pre-empts Three Diamonds and West bids Four Diamonds showing both majors. A direct cuebid at the two-level may show the top suit and another, but over minor pre-empts, a direct cuebid shows the majors because of the shortage of bidding space.

North raises to Five Diamonds, taking away Blackwood. East bids 5 . South hears his partner say his hand is offensive and with his lack of defense, he bids Six Clubs, his second suit. North likes Clubs and makes a seven-level sacrifice.

Opening Lead: Heart King. West cannot lead a minor and hopes to maybe get a Heart trick in addition to his three minor tricks.

The play: Declarer wins the Heart Ace and plays a trump. The defense tries to grab a Spade trick and declarer ruffs and draws trump. Declarer then plays Diamonds until they are set up.

The defense gets three tricks and +500 instead of 1430.

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