Bridge - The Scotsman 25/04/13

PRE-EMPTS will never go out of fashion as long as they give opponents insoluble problems.

This example comes from the Lady Milne Trophy. What should East do when 3D is passed round to her? One could argue that, with no good bid, the best option is to pass. On this occasion passing achieves a plus score for one or two down. Will that compensate for a possible game your way? Most red-blooded players prefer to bid in such situations. My personal reference is 3NT, which looks silly if South has solid diamonds or North has a doubleton honour, but does not otherwise distort the hand. The bid works well here, where there is no communication between North and South

In the match between Scotland and Ireland both Easts chose to re-open with a double. West naturally expected a more distributional hand opposite; her cuebid showed equal length in the majors and invited partner to choose. East crossed her fingers and bid 4H. Sam Punch led her singleton club, and declarer tried to avoid a ruff by playing ace and another heart. There was no ruff, but North had three natural trump tricks to go with the ace of spades.

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Against Anne Symons South led the king of diamonds. Anne took the ace and played a heart to the ten. When that scored she cashed the ace and set about the other suits. When a spade to the ten drew the ace North could do no better than wait for her two trump tricks.