North opens 1 ♣, East passes ... with 5 hcp, what is South's call?
When North opens 1 ♣, responder (South) should go out of the way to find a bid. Rarely will the bidding go 1 ♣ - PASS - PASS - PASS, but when it does, the result is usually not good for 1 ♣.
After 1 ♣, South should respond 1 ♥. The ♥ KQ532 with 2/3 top honors, a good 5 hcp, 1 QT and a 5-card suit warrants a 1 ♥ response not even considering the valuable tens in the minor suits ♦ 1076 and ♣ 1042.
When opener rebids 1 ♠ (yuk!) South "in for a penny, in for a pound" should bid 2 ♥ (South does have tolerance for clubs in case opener returns to 3 ♣). There is a great convention XYZ just for this bidding sequence, but for now the rebid of 2 ♥ is NOT an ongoing bid. After 2 ♥, E/W with most of the points in this deal and not-vulnerable will find it hard to safely enter the auction.
Here is the complete deal.
The opening lead of a diamond would have given declarer (South) two diamond tricks enough to make the contract 1-spade + 5-hearts + 2-diamonds = 8 tricks.
With the opening lead (T1) of the 2 ♠, however, South has to hope of developing a spade trick to pitch a diamond. So to keep an entry in dummy, on T2 South reverses trump play leading away from the short stack in dummy to the long stack in hand. And on T3 finesses the ♠ 8 which loses to the ♠ 10. E/W run off three clubs (T4, T5 & T6) and finally on T7 lead a diamond which wins in dummy with the ♦ A. Declarer on T8 makes a ruffing finesse on the ♠ A. And on T9 leads up to the ♥ A10 in dummy and the ♥ J pops up. South can pull out trump (T9 and T10) and on T11 play the final winning ♠ 9 for a diamond discard. Declarer wins 2-spades + 5-hearts + 1-diamond = 8 tricks, making 2 ♥.
This deal was played Monday night September 20, 2014 / The Common Game. To obtain a printable PDF file of this deal click " 20141020 0014.