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Andrew’s favourite conventions (five)

Our fifth featured convention is “Fourth Suit Forcing”. When the first three bids by the partnership are in different suits, there is only one forcing bid: a bid of the fourth suit. But because you would be able to bid Notrumps if you held the suit, such a bid does not show the suit, instead it says “We are going to game, please tell me something more about your hand”.

North Deals
N-S Vul
A J 5
A Q 6 4 2
7
K J 6 5
7 6 4
8 3
A K Q 8
10 8 7 4
N
W   E
S
3 2
K 9 7 5
10 6 5 4 2
9 3
 
K Q 10 9 8
J 10
J 9 3
A Q 2
West North East South
  1  Pass 1 ♠
Pass 2 ♣ Pass 2 
Pass 3 ♠ Pass 4 N
Pass 5  Pass 6 ♠
Pass Pass Pass

South would have a completely impossible rebid problem without using Fourth Suit Forcing. Over his 2  bid, North showed secondary support for ♠s (precisely three cards – he would have supported ♠s immediately with four cards) and extra values (by bidding 3 ♠ not 2 ♠). South already knew North held five s and four ♣s, so could now work out that he held at most one . He was able bid to slam via 4 NT Blackwood, North showing two aces.

West led  A and switched to  8. Declarer rose with  A, crossed to ♠ 8, trumped  9 with ♠ J, crossed to ♣ Q, trumped  J with ♠ A, crossed to ♣ A, and drew the remaining trumps. He then led ♣ 2 to ♣ J and discarded  J on ♣ K. Contract made.

ANDREW’S FAVOURITE CONVENTIONS: (5) Fourth Suit Forcing

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