Minor Suit 6-5 Strong Jump Shifts with Suit Quality, Losing Trick Count
Greetings Bridge Friends,
Welcome to another BridgeHands “Extra” lesson that intercedes our more voluminous, full length episodes. Again you will have an opportunity to demonstrate your Strong Jump Shift bidding skills as well as some play skills from our prior lessons.
In these exercises, again South will hold very distributional hands with a 6-5 suit shape. So when both long suits are in the MINORS and we are holding six-five shape, should we still “6-5, come alive?” As we witnessed in our prior lessons, first off we should consider Suit Quality (of 9+), looking for a good Semi Self-Sustaining-Suits or better. Also recall, we ought to look ahead and ponder whether we are prepared to play in a 3 Notrump contract, push to a 4 level contract in the minor, or go all the way to an 11 trick minor suit game or beyond. Okay, let’s explore the wild world of minor suit 6-5 hands, moving around a card here and there and measure the impact on the bidding, line of declarer play and available tricks. Be sure to view the entire video along with the concluding remarks for additional details.
In order to generate many more video lessons, beginning in the year 2013, we plan to frequently produce shorter, concise “no frills” video lessons without our all the detailed hand diagrams and written commentary. You will find these lessons here on our blog in the Social and Advanced categories under the subheading Bidding and Play (see top of any blog page). On a less frequent basis, we will continue to generate our popular and more comprehensive “Polling You” series.
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| Poll 80, Extra – Hand 0 (reprint of Hand 7 from Polling You #80)
Despite holding a 15 High Card Point hand, with a 6-5 shape and nice honors South aggressively opens 2 Clubs with a 4 Losing Trick Count hand. While South’s losers may be Spades 1, Diamonds 1, Clubs 2, with less than 4.5 Quick Tricks (3 here) making such a strong opening call may come back to haunt South. With 2 of the top 3 honors, North questionably responds 2 Hearts (generally it is better to have 8+ total points in hand plus 2 of the top 3 honors in your bid suit). With a Self-Sustaining Spade suit this South jumps to 3 Spades (4 honors + 6 long = 10) – others might instead bid 2 Spades and rebid 3 Spades with 4 losers. Regardless, North signs off in 4 Spades.
On play, West does not want to lead away from an unprotected Ace nor a Club King to South’s strong hand, thus settling for a trump lead (technically the middle Spade 8 is correct from 3). On the safe lead of a Spade, East goes up with the Queen that loses to South’s King. Declarer South clears the Spade suit in 3 tricks with East signaling for a Diamond should partner West again get on the lead. On the fourth Spade lead, West pitches a Heart without much encouragement since the visible dummy to the left holds King-Queen. With 2 Club losers, South switches to the ambiguous Club Jack, won by East’s Ace. East comes back with the Diamond King, won by South’s Ace and West’s Jack (high-low from doubleton). South continues leading the Club Queen, this time won by West’s King. West follows with the Diamond 9 to East’s waiting Queen but declarer South ruffs in. Procrastinating in hopes to squeeze the opponents a bit, South plays another trump before switching back to the Club 10. Fortunately both opponents followed to the third Club play, this time a lucky 3-3 split (36 percent chance) on a 5-3-3-2 suit distribution. Yet as it turned out, North’s Heart King-Queen honors were of no help on the mis-fitting hands.