Ruffing High is The Trick
So that I could get a feel of the standard of our ‘newbies’ at The Hutt I decided to have a game last night, and was extremely impressed with the enthusiasm and skill levels of some of our new players. This deal was very well bid and played by our NS opposition.
If you are North playing basic Acol with a weak 1NT, you have no other option than an opening of 1NT. South wants to know if NS have a spade fit, and that is what STAYMAN is for. 2C from South and North bids 2H. South now bids 2NT which shows 11 or 12 high card points and four spades by inference, and invites game. North must now decide whether to bid game (in SPADES) or just bid 3S. I have said many a time that “it is better to underbid and overplay than to overbid and underplay”, and in this instance North must haven take my advice, because she bid 3S, which South dutifully passed.
Now for the play. As East, I started with the ace of hearts opening lead. When West followed with the five, I then continued with the king, and West’s queen fell. I then continued with a low heart, but declarer ruffed in dummy, with the nine and not the five. Chances were that West would over ruff but it was a certainty that West would be able to over-ruff the five, less so the nine. Declarer was rewarded when West could not over-ruff the nine, and the end result was that declarer made an overtrick. Despite not having bid the makeable game, that was worth 75% to NS for their excellent bidding and card play. Very impressive and these ladies have just come out of lessons in the past six months!
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Best wishes for Xmas and the holidays,