Improve Your Play
Avoiding the Minors
By Larry Matheny
Fort Collins, Colorado
The match point scoring used in pairs events does not favor minor suit games. Those low scoring (+400 or +600), yet high trick taking requirement (11 of 13 tricks), games should only be chosen when notrump (9 tricks in 3NT) and the major suits (10 tricks in 4♥ or 4♠) are unplayable.
South West North East
1♣ Pass 1♦ 2♥*
Pass Pass 3♥ Pass
3♠ Pass 4♠ Pass
*Weak Jump Overcall
Contract: 4♠ South Opening lead: ♥Q
After East’s 2♥ weak jump overcall, North cuebid the suit asking South if he had a heart stopper. South denied a stopper but showed either a four card spade suit or a spade control. North raised with his strong three card spade holding. Without a spade suit, South could have retreated to a minor suit.
West led the ♥Q and followed with a second heart. After East exited with a club, South was able to claim the remaining tricks. This score of +650 was a tie for section top. Several North/South pairs went down in 3NT and others made game in diamonds or clubs (+600).
Match Point Decisions
To be successful at match point events, you must discuss and make the event scoring method part of your decision-making process.