Tenerife hands (15) - Low-level decisions


In this board from the 16th round in Tenerife, N-S have a vulnerable 4S in the cards but at very many tables they weren't able to go past the seemingly low barrier of the enemy 1NT.

Board 2, East dealer, NS vul.

                      Q 10 8 7 4
                      A
                      J 7 5
                      A 9 5 2

A 9 2                               K
Q 3 2                              K J 9 5
10 4 3                             Q 9 6 2
Q 10 7 4                         K J 6 3

                       J 6 5 3
                       10 8 7 6 4
                       A K 8
                        8

At many tables the auction was short:

West          East
                 1D
1NT           all pass

* Would you pass 1NT as North?
* Would you pass 1NT as West?
* Would you pass 1NT as South?
If any of the three players decide to speak. NS have a good chance to reach the laydown 4S (with a mere 19 points, cold against any defence). If all three decide to pass, then the best NS can expect is to beat 1NT by one trick, but in practice it was made sometimes. Anyway, a measly 50 is nothing against the 620 available.

This said, even if the auction gets past the 1NT barrier, there is no guarantee of reaching 4S. In fact, when Greece met Iceland in the Vugraph, at both rooms the auction got past 1NT -but ended in a non-spade contract.

In the Open Room, it was the Icelandic East who disturbed 1NT, by rebidding 2C. Then N-S introduced spades but they sold out to 4C, undoubled, which they beat by two for an insufficient 100.

However, in the Closed Room there was an accident for the Icemen. When 1NT was passed out to South, he reopened with *2D*.

What is the meaning of this auction in your regular partnership? Is it a take-out for the majors or long diamonds? I would tend for the former -but then how do you show long diamonds given that opener may have a 3-carder? (You don't I guess).

In any case, South meant 2D as majors, North understood it as diamonds, so they played 2D in the 3-3 fit! This played remarkably well but had to go one down, so it was another 100 to Greece, or 5 IMPs.

In the end, the Greeks beat Iceland by 53 to 15. The bulk of this winning margin was produced by small and medium swings (4 IMPs here, 2 IMPs there etc.) Greece is playing very steadily and keep clinging to the 3rd place.



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2001 Nikos Sarantakos
sarant@pt.lu
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