THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
LEAP IN RESPONSE TO SHOW YOUR HAND
This week, we are looking at strong jump shifts. The opener bids one of a suit and responder makes a single jump in a new suit.
Responder shows 13-16 high-card points and either a one-suiter with an excellent suit (in principle, with a play for at most one loser opposite a low singleton), or a two-suiter with at least nine cards divided 5-plus – 4-plus in the responder’s suit and the opener’s suit.
In the old days, a strong jump shift promised some 17-19 high-card points. This was not a good idea. First, a hand that strong almost never came up; and second, with that amount of power, responder did best to make a quiet response to learn as much as possible about the distribution and strength of his partner’s hand before naming the final contract.
In today’s deal, responder’s second jump showed that his suit was completely solid. North, after rebidding two no-trump to find out which hand-type his partner had, used Blackwood before signing off in six hearts.
After West leads the club queen, how should South proceed?
Declarer is faced with three losers in his hand: one diamond and two clubs. He does not have time to play a diamond to establish a discard, because East would win with his ace and cash the club king. South must win with dummy’s club ace, play a heart to his ace, and take the three spade tricks, discarding his diamond loser. Then declarer gives up a club. In a moment, he ruffs his final club with dummy’s heart eight and claims.