North

1

2

3

4

South

1

2

3

This hand got emailed in with a request of how the auction should have proceeded.  These hands are always tough.  I would not open the Strong 2 Bid because I think that I will have a difficult time describing my hand to partner if I start at the two level vs. the one level.  I choose to open at the one-level in my long suit.  Responder has an easy 1 bid, showing 6+ HCPs and 4+ spades.  Opener now ‘Reverses’ by bidding 2.  This shows 17+ HCPs, at least five diamonds, at least four hearts and is forcing.  Many of you know I suggest playing a Reverse game forcing to avoid later problems in the hand.  Even if you have chosen not to play that a Reverse is game forcing, everyone plays that it is forcing for at least one round.  South now bids 2, showing at least five spades.

3 is natural, promising at least six diamonds, denies three spades and denies five hearts.  Responder will now know that Opener is unlikely to hold even two spades, since we know he has ten red cards.  Responder has no club stopper and is unbalanced, so I think his next bid should be 3 , showing three-card heart support.  The best opener can do at this point is to bid 4, hoping for a reasonable trump break.  One nice thing that might happen is the opening leader will probably lead a club (the unbid suit) which will ensure that declarer is able to take a club trick as he will be the last one to play to the trick.  If the opening leader does not lead a club, I would expect that he has the A.  Wish I knew what the other two hands were and how I did!

See more of this technique in Patty’s “Strong 2 Club Including 2 Diamond Waiting” book.