Shangai hands (3) - The most common contract

Let' s take a quiz: what do you guess was the most common contract in this hand, played at dozens of tables at Round 3 of the Bermuda Bowl and Venice Cup?

Brd 2    A54
East     4
NS       AQ86
T93              KQJ6
J986             KQ72
T32              J97
AQ6              87
Ming-Sun         Hongli-Wan

 W   N   E   S
         1D  P
 1H  P   2H  P
 P   X   P   2S
 P   P   P       

Sub-Moysian hits reared their head early on in Shangai. The obvious 2H was reached at most tables, but most Norths reopened, and most Souths preferred the "sure" Moysian fit, expecting four cards opposite. This auction, taken from the Ladies match between France and China was repeated some 15 times -including the other table of this match, hence the board was flat at 2S-1. Note that 2H cannot make (unless, as Bocchi did, you choose an unlucky club lead as North) so a clairvoyant South might pass the reopening double although no-one did it. The Chinese men had the tools or the luck to reach a rational contract, 3C making four. Not that reaching 2S is such a disaster -the "field contract" cannot go worse than down one and it even made a couple of times. Far worse was the luck of some Easts who opened with a weak 1NT and were left there; the Japanese were even doubled and on the club lead the defence made 10 tricks, 800 and 14 imps out of thin air.

Nikos Sarantakos

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2007 Nikos Sarantakos