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Common Game 2015-01-31 Board 6
West
KQJ6
95
AKJ8
K97
North
A103
KQJ1074
J632
East
72
A2
Q10762
AQ85
South
9854
863
9543
104
D
6
West
North
East
South
1
P
1
2
P
P
3
X
3NT
P
P
P

Analysis by Craig Hemphill

The diagram shows an auction that will happen at some tables in which North leaves plenty of room for EW to maneuver to 3NT, which they do via a Western Cue Bid. 3 asks East for a heart stopper, promising enough values via the cue bid to make game if only East can provide that one Feature . East, having opened the bidding, need look no further.

On the other hand, given the vulnerability, North probably ought to give up on constructive bidding and simply bid 3 over 1. Then the road to 3NT is not clear. A double by East or West would sound punitive rather than exploratory, and East has not the power nor the knowledge of West's power to try 3NT.

Preempts sometimes work extremely well. 3 doubled cannot be defeated enough to compensate for the EW game, and will likely prevent the 3NT contract. 5 will be a subpar matchpoint result.

Note that the maximum tricks can be made in clubs only by taking a third round finesse against the J, probably requiring the unblock of the 9 under the ace or queen. The play is somewhat indicated by the absence of diamonds in the North hand, leaving more vacant spaces for clubs. Accomplishing that feat will ensure a huge score.

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