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Bridge Club July 27

Bidding with a Fit

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This hand demonstrates that fit and controls can make a hand with only a few high-card points a powerful hand. It was dealt to us at the recent Las Vegas regional and helped us win a match because the other team did not bid the slam. North's raise to 3 hearts shows a hand with 9 to 11 points, not 5, but the singleton spade counts for 3 points when there are 4 cards in opener's suit. The happy possession of the ace of clubs was all south needed to hear to bid a slam.

The play of the hand has a lesson in card reading. Declarer won the opening spade lead, trumped a spade, and then tried to return to hand with the king of clubs which was trumped by west. A trump lead at this point would defeat the slam because south would be left with a losing spade at the end, but west led another spade instead. Declarer should see that west is probably void of clubs because he did not lead one in response to his partner's double. Furthermore, if the slam is to succeed, the diamond king must be onside, so at trick 3 the lead should be a diamond from the board. This line will eliminate any chance of accidents.