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41 - SEPTEMBER 2023

41 - SEPTEMBER 2023

BALANCE!

In matchpoint pairs, it is almost always opportune to balance when the opponents have found a fit and still stop at the two-level. However – and you have certainly seen that in regular Club tournaments – many players do not…

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LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

TEAMS.
DEALER SOUTH – NONE VUL.

With 20HCP and two-suited distribution, your South hand is quite impressive:

♠ A5432
AR
RV32
♣ AV

How do you open that hand?
Given the weak nature of your five-card major, 1♠ is the only imaginable opening bid in our system. West passes and your partner conventionally responds 3NT to describe a balanced hand, with at least four-card Spade support and something between 11 good and 14 bad HCP.

What do you immediately think about?
The possibility of a slam. You investigate with 4♣ and learn that North holds the Diamond Ace (4). From there, you ask for keycards, North’s 5♠ response revealing two keycards and the Queen of trumps. This is great news. However, since your partner’s hand is of limited strength, you simply bid 6♠:

WNES
1♠
Pass3NTPass4♣
Pass4Pass3NT
Pass5♠Pass6♠

West leads the Jack of Hearts and North spreads out his hand:

Contract: 6 Spades.
Lead: Jack of Hearts (the 5 from East).

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Norbert Lébely

Bridge teacher passionate about education, Norbert Lébely contributed to several bestsellers, including the book collection “Step by Step” and the book series “Les clefs du bridge” (Keys to bridge) with Robert Berthe as well as the series “Bien enchérir” (bidding well) with Michel Bessis. He has been working on the software "Step by Step in action" for several years. Picture © Caroline Moreau.

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