Hand of the Month

Sadly, this part of our web site has been sadly neglected. We'll try to make up for this. (Hey, Vic gets all the good hands for his monthly Bridge News column!!!)

As dealer, playing IMPs, vulnerable against not, you find yourself looking at:

♠ none
♥ A Q 9
♦ A K Q J 10 9 x
♣ 10 8 x x

Not too shabby! You're playing Standard, so you open 1♦. LHO passes, partner chimes in with 2♣, and you start searching for some reasonable (and forcing) bid. 3♦ isn't forcing, not to mention being a massive under-bid. About the only hope is that partner won't go wild when you reverse into 2♥. When, lo and behold, RHO saves the day by doubling (takeout, of course). Now what?
Well, NOW you can PASS and await developments! You do, and as expected, LHO calls 2♠. Pard isn't finished yet, either; he calls 3NT. He almost certainly doesn't have 4 or more hearts, but probably has the ♥K, and you hope he doesn't have too much wastage in spades. But you need more information, so you call ... 4♠. Pard replies 5♣, and your 16-count suddenly looks like about 23. You call 6♣, and that's where it rests. Pard loses a trump trick (they're 3-1 with the K-Q divided), but 12 tricks are on ice.
The lesson of this hand: it's OK to get busy bidding, and the scoring table favors the bold, BUT ... getting busy give those nasty opponents options they would not have had otherwise. Your teammates didn't enter the auction and sure enough, when you compare, your +1370 picks up a pile of IMPs against the -630 at the other table.

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