Main     Article 7K35 by Richard Pavlicek    

Moysian Mission

On this deal from the Chicago Nationals I was South and my son Rich was North. When Rich opened 1 D, the textbook response with my hand is 1 NT; but I did not like bidding notrump with two small hearts. My hand was too weak for 2 C, so I decided to improvise with 1 S. Bang, zoom, 4 H by Rich — a splinter bid showing a singleton or void in hearts and a strong spade raise — so I was obliged to play it in 4 S.

4 S by South

None Vul
S A K 5 2
H A
D A 8 7 4 2
C A 9 8
S 9 8 4 3
H Q J 10 9 5 4
D Q 10 5
C
TableS 10 6
H K 8 7 2
D 9 6 3
C K Q 6 3
Lead: H QS Q J 7
H 6 3
D K J
C J 10 7 5 4 2

West
Pass
Pass
All Pass
North
1 D
4 H
East
Pass
Pass
South
1 S?
4 S

West began with the H Q and I concentrated on setting up my club suit. I cashed the C A — or so I hoped — and West ruffed. Ouch! Everyone at the table thought I had lost my mind not to draw trumps, but it was necessary to postpone that. The heart return was ruffed in dummy, and I persisted with clubs. When the smoke cleared I made 10 tricks, losing just three club tricks. The club ruff didn’t really cost because West’s fourth trump would come into a trick anyway once dummy is forced to ruff a heart.

The Moysian trump fit (named as a tribute to the late Alphonse Moyse Jr., who wrote extensively in favor of 4-3 trump fits as editor of The Bridge World magazine) turned out to be a great result. Observe that 3 NT is doomed with the obvious heart lead — probably down two when declarer tries the diamond finesse as his only chance. My premonition about those two baby hearts certainly proved right. Or I suppose one could equally well claim we got lucky this time.

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© 1998 Richard Pavlicek