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Knife-Edge Decisions

In match point play you have to be prepared to compete, but at the same time not overdo it. Here is a good example: Board 14 from Thursday 7/06/2018.

Dealer E Nil Vul

Board#14 07/06/2018

After two passes, West has a reasonable third in hand opening bid: 1D. North also has a reasonable takeout double: at least 4-3 in the majors and 10+ points the way I like to play opposite a passed partner and non vulnerable. But anyway, North has quite a bit more than that so every North should find the double. No reason for East to be shy, so East bids 1S. South has a very easy decision and bids 2H, West of course now bids 2S. North should be happy to compete and bid 3H. Please note that 3H should be strictly a competitive bid rather than invite game, North has “double” available for inviting game. So, 3H should be the final contract, but if West persists with 3S, encouraged by the singleton heart, NS now have a problem: to bid on to 4H or to double 3S. I suggest that either North or South should double 3S, which will need accurate defence to defeat, and only by one at that, hardly compensation if 3H or even 4H is a make.

It might be better for NS to bid to 4H and hope it makes, if they are doubtful about their chances of defeating 3S. You never know, if your opponents look like aggressive types, bid to 4H and you may get the chance to double 4S. And if you are left in 4H, just hope opponents’ defence isn’t perfect and they allow you to make, or your South is a brilliant declarer if 4H can be made. In fact, the Souths did make ten tricks more often than not in our session. The defence obviously was not perfect in those cases.

What did you end up doing at your table? I suggest 3S or 4H should be bid in most cases.

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