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Posted on Wed, May 22, 2013 : 5 a.m.

Bridge column, May 22: When opener likes responder's major

By Philip Adler

Richard Gough was born in Sweden, raised in South Africa, played soccer in Scotland and now resides in San Diego. He said, "There are a lot of things to weigh up when a soccer transfer happens, and money is a big factor."

There are a lot of things to weigh up when a bridge transfer bid happens, too, and fit for partner's major is a big factor.

We are looking at responder's transfers into the major suits when opener has a balanced hand. Almost all of the time, the opener completes the transfer, even with a low doubleton. But when he has four-card support, a maximum and a doubleton, he may jump in responder's major -- a superaccept.

The South hand in today's diagram is textbook. After North responds two hearts, showing five-plus spades, South rebids three spades. (He must not jump to four spades, since responder might have no points at all.) This persuades North to take the push into four spades (although passing is conceivable.)

After West leads the heart ace, how should the play proceed?

First, East should drop his queen under partner's ace, showing the queen and jack. Probably West will continue with a low heart, and East will shift to a diamond, but declarer wins with his ace, draws trumps, and plays on clubs. He will discard two diamonds from the board on his long clubs and lose only two hearts and one club. Note that if South rebids only two spades, North will pass, his hand not being strong enough to invite game with a two-no-trump rebid.

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