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When you can let partner decide

In most uncontested auctions there develops a captain of the partnership – the player who ultimately chooses the final contract. This will not necessarily be the player with the stronger hand, but rather the player who has knows more of his partner’s hand. Thus a player opening 1 NT or 2 NT cedes captaincy to his partner, who will generally be able to choose the contract with his next bid.

North Deals
None Vul
A Q J 6
A J 5
Q J 4
10 9 8 5
K 9 7 3
A 9 8 3
W   E
K 10
K 3 2
Q 10 8 6
10 7 6 2
9 8 7 5 3 2
7 6 4
4 2
K 5
West North East South
  2 N1 Pass 4 ♠
Pass Pass Pass
  1. (20-22pts)

Note North’s pass of 4 ♠ - having opened 2 NT, he has shown his strength and can take a back seat for the remainder of the auction. In spite of holding a maximum point count for his 2 NT opener with four-card ♠ support, he must not even think of bidding on towards a Slam. South’s bid is intended to close the auction and North must respect his partner’s intentions. Indeed even 4 ♠ required good technique.

West led  10 and declarer correctly rose with dummy’s  A – playing  J would lead to defeat if East had found the shift after winning  K. Declarer then cashed ♠ A and, leaving ♠ K outstanding, led ♣ 4 to ♣ K. West won ♣ A and switched to  3, but declarer rose with  A and cashed ♣ Q and ♣ J, discarding  4. He then led  Q and claimed the remainder after East had won  K and cashed ♠ K.

ANDREW’S TIP: A player bidding Notrumps should leave the choice of final contract to his partner.


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