Into the void
IT is not often that the trump suit is men- tioned for the first time at the seven level. And it is even rarer that the player bidding the suit holds a void. Here is how it hap- pened.
Dealer North North-South vulnerable 47 6 V6 5 • A K Q J 104 3 43 V J • 9 +J South 7. 7 3 8 6 106 2 5 5 V • West pass +8 4 4 K Q J 10 9 2 V K Q 10 • 7 2 4 9 7 4 4 3 2 North East 44 pass 3NT pass
4A The 8 5 A 9 8 — + A K Q Bidding An opening bid of 3NT is most com- monly played as showing a long, no-loser minor suit and little else. This is a sensible interpretation because 3NT is so often the right contract when one hand has a solid suit. it is referred to as the 'Gambling 3NT' but this is a misnomer. By describing your hand so accurately, partner does not need to gamble and can rescue to the minor if nec- essary. Here South held all the controls and a source of tricks in 4s and was fully justified in bidding 7*.
West led his singleton 43 and declarer won 4A, cashed +A and 4K and trumped a third 4 with •10. He drew the oppo- nents' trumps in four rounds, discarding major suit cards and crossed to ♦A. He cashed 40, discarding dummy's losing 4, and the established 43, discarding dummy's losing V.
It was Chicago bridge so North-South scored 2290 points (including .150 hon- ours). This left East wishing he had sacri- ficed in 74.
Best defence against 74 is for South to switch to a ♦ after cashing 4A. He wins 4A on the first round and leads ♦A and a third V for North to trump. Declarer makes five 4 tricks and a r —seven down. But this still represents a big profit — los- ing a mere 1600 points (including 100 hon- ours).