Bridge column, August 31: What's partner know about your hand?
I know you've heard it a thousand times before, but it's true -- work hard to describe your hand accurately to partner.
In today's deal, North has the decision to make. South opens one spade, West passes, North passes (do you agree?), East balances with two diamonds, South doubles, and West passes. What should North do now?
First, should North pass over one spade? In the past, that would have been a common choice, but nowadays almost everyone would bid at least two spades, for tactical reasons if no other.
Next, let's analyze South's double. That is for takeout, showing short diamonds, and promising extra values because North could have nothing.
What does South know about North's hand? That it has fewer than six points. Given that, North's hand is a maximum. North should jump to three spades. He must show some enthusiasm.
Here, South will raise to four spades and make five, losing one heart and one diamond.
If North bids two spades, he might have a 3-3-4-3 or 3-3-3-4 zero-count.
Base your bids on what partner already knows about your hand.
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