There are several reasons that natural bidding works best for duplicate bridge, especially when you are playing with a new partner. Natural bidding is easy to remember, and it is fairly difficult to forget a convention.
Most natural bidding gives less information to the opponents. You do not have to answer questions regarding your bids.
In the bidding as given, one club is a strong bid, two clubs was a natural bid by West, and the double showed points over South’s three spades. North took quite a while to bid four spades, while South prayed his partner would not pass this bid.
The Jack of diamonds was led. Declarer won with the king in the dummy and led the Jack of spades, hoping East would cover with the king. East decided to duck, knowing that his partner probably had a singleton, to enter the auction as vulnerable. West won and continued diamonds, and when the finesse lost, declarer was down one.
If declarer had stopped to plan his play at trick one, he would have realized that he had 10 tricks on normal breaks. He would win the diamond lead in his hand and cash the ace and king of hearts and then play another heart. West would win and continue diamonds. Declarer is now able to lead the fourth heart from the dummy and discard a diamond. No matter who ruffs, the contract makes.
The artificial bid allowed the opponents to get into the bidding and helped the defense, as seen in East’s reading of his partner’s singleton spade.
Donna Swan is a resident of Longboat Key, an ardent bridge player and an American Contract Bridge League certified director who plays “for the fun of it.”
WHERE TO PLAY
Bayfront Park Recreation Center
Duplicate bridge games are at 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact Larry Auerbach at 758-2017 to reserve your spot.