9th December 2015

Dealer N E-W vulnerable

S AK10865
H A96

S -
D A742
C Q6542


1S Pass
2C Pass 2S Pass
3C Pass
3H Pass
3S Pass
3NT Pass

From the Tollemache qualifying event.  The hands above were nicely bid to six notrump by Michael Byrne (North) and Michael Newman (South), showing some of the advantages of the two over one game forcing system.

After North's one spade opening two clubs was game forcing.  This allowed North to make an economical rebid of two spades (virtually guaranteeing six spades) and then to show secondary club support after South's two notrump bid.  South now bid three hearts to show where his values were, North bid three spades to show good spades followed by three notrump by South which showed no extras and, since he had at no stage shown any interest in supporting spades, short spades.  North with his enormous extra values (some players in the event opened two clubs) then leapt to six notrump.  This is a reasonable contract on a non-heart lead, needing either clubs to break evenly or the diamond finesse if the clubs break 4-2.  On a club lead it was fairly easy.  A heart lead would have been more challenging as it attacks one of the entries needed to sort out the blocked suits, I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader to determine their line of play.  When I asked Michael Newman how to play it on a heart lead he took ten minutes to analyse the deal.

Against Manchester both the opposition pairs managed to reach four spades.  Our West players held QJ9743 in spades and were somewhat amused and annoyed that they couldn't beat this contract as the declarer had plenty of outside tricks and just lost three trump tricks.