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0013 - Everything You Need to Know

Preemptive Bid #001 – An opening preemptive bid is a high level bid (3-level or higher) made with length in a suit (usually 7+ cards), limited high-card strength (not enough for an opening bid) and limited defensive strength (maybe no outside ace). Partnerships usually have an agreement on bidding disciplined preempts vs. undisciplined preempts and/or preemptive guidelines such as the Rule of 234.

This deal was played September 25, 2014 / Hilton Head BC mentor/mentee game.



When East opens the bidding with a preemptive 3♣, how should North/South bid/play this hand?


East's opening bid of 3  is a disciplined preempt, subject to partnership agreements, a semi-solid 7-card minor suit with 2 of 3 (2/3) top honors, 7-playing tricks, 9 hcp, no 4-card major and no void.  For many, East's hand is almost strong enough to treat as an opening bid. Change the  QJ8 to  AJ9 and East might consider opening this hand 1  and white vs. red (not vulnerable against vulnerable), be willing to compete to 4 .

South has an opening hand of 12 hcp, 2 quick tricks (QT) and a rebid, but as an overcall the shape is wrong to either bid or make a takeout double (and don't even think of making a minimum offshape Savannah double). When North balances (forcing partner to bid at the 3-level), North must have a near opening hand, and NOW South is willing to bid game of 4 .

The preemptive bid is designed to take away opponents bidding space to keep them from finding optimum contracts. The 3  bid takes away the opponents ability to make 11 bids (from 1  to 3 ). But the preemptive bid also gives the opponents a great deal of information on the placement of cards and values. Such is this deal, with the opening bid of 3 , declarer (South) has just about all the information needed to make 4 .

With the opening lead of the  9, it should be assumed West is leading a singleton. This contract will not make unless West holds  K10(x) and as luck goes West probably has 4-spades, leaving room in West's hand for 4-5 diamonds, but diamonds will not play a role in this deal.

Follow the play of the hand in the table below...
Declarer (South) on T1 wins the opening lead with the  A in hand (note the A is underlined in the table as winning the trick). On T2 South finesses the  Q which West covers and on T3 returns to hand with the  K, and thus, removing East's ability to ruff a heart. On T4 South finesses the  9 and on T5 exits a club setting up the ability to ruff South's third club in dummy.

On T6 South wins the  K in hand and on T7 leads the third and final club and now West is in passing position (en passant). If West trumps high - discard a losing diamond from dummy and if West pitches - ruff with a low spade in dummy ... either way creating a winning trick. West has the right to win two spades either by ruffing or as natural spade tricks.

To obtain a printable PDF file of this post click here " 20140925 0013

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