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After you have accurately described your hand to partner in the bidding, you should take a back seat and leave decision-making to him. A prime example of this is opening 1NT: you have shown precisely 12-14 points and one of just three distributions - 4333, 4432 or 5332; you must then hand over captaincy to partner - usually he will be able to choose the final contract with his next bid.
♠ Q 10 4
♥ K J 4
♦ Q 7 4
♣ A Q 9 8
♠ A 5 2
♥ A 6 5 2
♦ A K 10 6 5
♠ K 3
♥ 10 9 8 7 3
♦ 9 3
♣ K 5 4 2
♠ J 9 8 7 6
♦ J 8 2
♣ 10 7 6 3
|1 N||Pass||2 ♠|
|3 ♦||3 ♠1||Pass||Pass|
South’s 2♠ bid - a “weakness take-out” - should have been the last bid for North-South. But North, erroneously encouraged by his maximum points and spade fit, broke discipline and competed to 3♠.
West led ♦A and East played ♦9 - a high-spot card is a signal for West to continue ♦s and thus implies a doubleton in this situation. West cleverly switched to ♣J - ♦s could wait - and declarer tried ♣Q from dummy. His hope that West held ♣K was dashed and after East won with it, he returned ♣2 for West to trump. West cashed ♦K and led ♦5 for East to trump. East returned ♣4 and West trumped, cashed ♥A, and led a fourth ♦. East trumped with ♠K and West still had ♠A to make.
East-West’s brilliant defence saw them score all five of their trumps together with ♥A, ♦AK and ♣K. Declarer - lucky to be undoubled - just made four tricks. Down five!
ANDREW’S TIP: A 1NT Opener should rarely bid again.