Horses for Courses

The question

Here is your hand and at nil vul you are fourth in hand after three passes:


Match point scoring: what would you bid
a) if playing at your club (just an ordinary session)?
b) if playing in a multigrade or open tournament?

Answers with reasons to me at please

The answers:

Despite what the 'expert advisers' say about the 'rule of 15' re the spade suit, not one of my respondents wants to pass this hand out. And neither would I. Forget the science of fourth in hand opening bids, just follow your instincts. My instincts are that by opening 1H the worst that can happen is that we end up in 3H, and that, if nothing else, will give us a challenge as declarer. A couple of suggestions that a 2H opening would do the trick, and in so far as it will certainly keep you at a lower level, I would not do it for two reasons: the heart suit is not quite good enough to unilaterally want to play in 2H; and my spade suit a) makes it less likely that opponents will compete in it and b) will leave US in a playable 1S if PARTNER responds 1S.

Some suggestions that a weak 1NT could work out best but for me, even if we were playing a weak NT that could include a five card major, it is not I would consider. Whatever you decide, the answers I have had tell me that you can forget about what the book says. So does the actual result when this deal occurred in a recent X-Clubs session and was reported to me by the opposing pair who scored 87% when the hand was passed out by a South who consoled himself by quoting the "Rule of 15".

Now that I have mentioned a possible challenge for declarer in what would have been a 2 or 3H contract in the deal I discussed, here is a declarer play problem for you. Let me know your plan for the play.





Don't ask me for the bidding, we may discuss that some other time, but you have landed in 6D and West leads the ace of clubs and continues with a second club. How do you continue from there?

Thanks in anticipation,
Vil (