3NT is king

Judy Mobbs, Warwick Milne, Tony Hinde and Janny Sipple regarded their hands with concentration. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Dealer: N Vul: Both


♠ 9876

♥ Q10782

♦ 104

♣ 105


♠ Q2 ♠ A54

♥ K94 ♥ J53

♦ AKQ73 ♦ J65

♣ AKJ ♣ 7432


♠ KJ103

♥ A8

♦ 982

♣ Q986

East/West winners last Friday (Warwick Milne and Janny Sipple) made the most of Board 13 (above). They were the only pair to bid 3NT. Many members have read Derrick Browne’s book on how to play bridge. Derrick recommends that when there is a choice between 3NT and 5D or 5C it is best to take a chance on 3NT. Only nine tricks are required, as against eleven in the minor suits – and 3NT scores better. As other pundits have declared, “3NT is King.”

It appears that West players commonly opened the bidding with 2C, promising 19-21 high card points. This slight underbid clearly inhibited most of the East players. With West’s hand, a more accurate opening bid is 2D, which shows 22 or more points. Now East knows that their partnership holds at least 28 points. The bidding at Warwick and Janny’s table is not known, but it was Warwick, sitting East, who chose 3NT as the contract. South was kind enough to lead the three of spades, whereas the Jack may have caused declarer (Warwick) to wonder about the location of the King. There was little to lose by calling for the Queen from dummy, which held. With any reasonable distribution, declarer could now count nine tricks: two spades, five diamonds and two clubs. With clubs much stronger than hearts it was logical to look for the extra trick in clubs. East’s hand could be entered via the Jack of diamonds and a small club played to dummy’s Jack. That was the tenth trick, bringing the score to 630 – an outright top. The rest of the field languished in diamonds, most making only ten tricks for 130.

Results, Monday, 13/05/24 (5-table Mitchell): N/S R. Hart N. McGinness (59.6) 1; J. Smith L. Munson (58.7) 2; J. Nankervis P. Kelly (52.5) 3. E/W N. Collins D. Moran (63.3) 1; T. Hinde P. Campbell (55.0) 2; L. James S. Head (53.3) 3. Friday, 17/05/24 (6-table Mitchell): N/S N. Collins M. Simpson (59.0) 1; N. Bonnell B. Bonnell (53.3) 2; T. Hinde J. Mobbs (52.7) 3. E/W W. Milne J. Sipple (59,7) 1; S. Head D. Moran (52.3) 2; S. Goddard N. McGinness (51.3) 3.