Bridge: Feb. 4, 2024

Some pairs have abandoned the strong jump-shift by responder for “weak jump-shifts.” If partner opens one club, bid two spades on KJ10842,765,4,654. Weak jump-shifts are descriptive and embrace the modern philosophy that obstructing the opponents is as vital as finding your own contract.

Still, I wonder whether crowding your own auction, and maybe getting too high with your first bid, is a winning approach. Moreover, strong jump-shifts facilitate slam bidding: You tell partner promptly that slam is possible, and he can cooperate or not.

Today’s North-South got to six spades, missing the best theoretical spot of seven clubs. South took the ace of diamonds, drew trumps and cashed the A-K of clubs. When West discarded, South took the ace of hearts and finessed with dummy’s jack. East won and cashed a diamond.

After South saw the 4-1 club break, he could have succeeded by taking his third high club, the ace of hearts and his last two trumps. East would save the jack of clubs and Q-10 of hearts, and South could exit with his last club for an end play.

South’s best play requires no such guessing. He can draw trumps, take the A-K of hearts, ruff dummy’s jack, lead a club to the ace and exit with a diamond. The defender who wins must lead a club, letting South pick up the suit, or concede a ruff-sluff.

I can accept weak jump-shifts at matchpoint duplicate, but at IMPs or party bridge, where accurate bidding on game and slam hands is vital, I prefer the strong flavor.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S Q 10 8 2

H K J 3

D A 5

C A K 8 5


S 7 4 3

H 9 8 6 2

D Q J 10 6 3

C 3


S 6

H Q 10 5 4

D K 9 8 4

C J 10 7 6


S A K J 9 5

H A 7

D 7 2

C Q 9 4 2

South West North East
1 S Pass 3 C Pass
4 C Pass 4 S Pass
5 H Pass 6 S All Pass
Opening lead — D Q

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