Bridge Jan28


THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder

Alfred North Whitehead, an English mathematician and philosopher who died in 1947, said, “It requires a very unusual mind to make an analysis of the obvious.”
What some people see as obvious, others find unusual. Take, for example, today’s deal. Look at the North hand. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one no-trump, and he rebids two clubs. What would you do now?
It looks obvious to raise to three clubs, game-invitational. But you would do that with a weaker hand. For example, take two of the low clubs and make them low diamonds. You would still raise to three clubs. This hand, though, is more powerful. In fact, if you had had king-queen-jack-sixth of clubs and the diamond king, you probably would have responded two clubs, not one no-trump, planning to rebid three clubs. How can you show a very good three-club raise?
By rebidding two spades. This cannot be natural, because you would have responded one spade, not one no-trump, with length in that suit. And it says nothing about your holding in spades. (The same call can be used if opener rebids two diamonds and you have excellent support for that suit.)
In this instance, South, with those wonderful aces, should continue with three spades to describe his distribution, and leave three no-trump as an option should North have strong diamonds. Here, North would probably bid four clubs and South would raise to game.
As you can see, five clubs needs either the heart finesse or the club finesse to work. But three no-trump has no chance with the club finesse failing.

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