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Deal of the Week (Mar 09, 2012) Click here for Archives
Problem: The Auction:
West North East South

You are North on this deal and you have a chance to open the auction. With 10 HCP and six clubs you are certainly going to make an opening bid, the only question is – what are you going to bid?


The most conventional bid would of course be 1♣, indicating points and 3+ clubs. But as you have a singleton, doubleton, six clubs and four diamonds, you are tempted to make a preemptive bid.

If you bid 1♣ and your partner passes with a weak hand, the opponents are free to establish their contract. Even if you partner will answer, the only other suit suitable for your hand is diamonds, so if partner calls hearts or spades, it doesn’t further you along the road of securing the contract.

The weak preempt, on the other hand, will deprive the opponents of the bidding space, cutting the communication between your opponents and hopefully preventing them from finding their best contract.

But would it be right to bid 3♣? The definition of the preemptive bid on level three demands a suit holding seven cards.

But the preempt still works like magic shutting down the opponents, as they have to start bidding at level three, so it might be justified to go to level three.

Finally you decide to call 3♣. Everyone passes and you become the declarer.

East leads the 3, you take it with the dummy’s A and lead the ♣J, trying a finesse. It does not work – East wins the trick with the ♣K and leads diamonds again, you take that trick with the 9. You then draw the trumps, discarding the ♠8 from dummy into the second trick. After that you can claim as you can win three more tricks with clubs and three with diamonds, leaving the opponents with empty hands – only three tricks altogether.

A10962 Deal KJ754
AQ87 K52
54 32
103 K86

Most players would open that kind of hand with 1♣, but the actual call of 3♣ turned out to be very reasonable, in fact it might have been the only way that let your side secure the contract.

A preemptive three bid can also be used if you want to make a sacrifice, hoping to get a smaller minus score than in the case the opponents make the game. Actually it turned out not as a sacrifice, but as a successful obstacle for the opponents.

If you had started the auction conventionally with 1♣, the opponents could easily have made it to the contract of 4♠ spades, the auction might have run like this 1♣ - pass - 1 - Dbl - 2 - 3♠ - 4 - 4♠.

As you can see, diamonds might have been even better contract for you and your partner; it is interesting to note North/South could actually have made 4 too (the only probem being how to prevent the opponents from going on to 4♠).


Par Contract Analysis:

The par contract on this deal is 4♠ by East/West.

Bridge Baron deal No : N0580-38342-36134-96900-10455-84810

You can download this deal in PPL format, and view it with Bridge Baron here :
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