Article 7J29 Main

Transfer Trauma

 by Richard Pavlicek

Jacoby and Texas transfer bids have become the system of choice for the great majority of tournament players. Besides making the stronger hand declarer, these bids provide a superior follow-up structure. The Texas transfer (unlike Jacoby by normal agreements) can also be used in competition, as illustrated by this deal from a recent team match.

South dealsS 8 4WestNorthEastSouth
E-W vulH A K Q 10 91 NT
D 4 32 S4 DPass4 H
C 10 9 7 6PassPassPass
S K Q J 9 6 2TableS 10
H 5H 8 7 6 3
D Q 10 9D K 7 6 5 2
C K 3 2C 8 5 4
S A 7 5 3
H J 4 2
D A J 8
4 H SouthC A Q J

North’s jump to 4 D forced South to become declarer in 4 H. Normally, the Texas transfer shows at least six cards, but North took exception with his powerful five-carder — good judgment in my view.

So far, so good, but the trauma arose in the play. Declarer won the spade lead and drew two rounds of trumps, discovering the 4-1 break. Next came a club finesse, losing to the king. West cashed the S Q and continued spades, forcing dummy to ruff as East discarded his remaining clubs. Declarer was now history. If he drew trumps, he could never enjoy North’s long club; and if tried to unblock the clubs first, East would get a ruff. Too bad.

Careful play could have ensured success. Declarer should draw all of East’s trumps (South discarding a spade) then play the C A and another club, taken by the king. West does best to continue leading spades, but declarer does not ruff the third spade, instead pitching a diamond from dummy. On the fourth spade, dummy ruffs, and declarer jettisons his blocking club on the same trick. The C 10-9 are then clear to cash, and the D A takes the last trick.

Article 7J29 MainTop Transfer Trauma

© 2000 Richard Pavlicek