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A WEAK Two opening bid in a major, sometimes cloaked by a Multi- coloured Two Diamonds, can have strange effects on the play when the possession of a six-card suit suggests that the opener is short elsewhere.

Take this deal from the Women's team olympiad in Rhodes, when Austria met Poland. It looks as if 26 (or #6) is a fair contract, but it did not work out like that.

After a pass by North, the Polish East opened !2. A complicated auction led to South reaching 26 but, when it came to the critical view in diamonds, declarer got it wrong and played East for a shortage. That was 100 points to Poland.

At the other table East's opening salvo was a Multi #2 (either a weak two in a major or one or two possible strong hand types). South doubled - hoping that her club suit would be good enough to cope with any major suit jump by North. West dutifully bid !2 and, after two passes, South bid a cautious 23. This might well have ended the auction but Maria Erhart of Austria, as West, unwisely fought on with !3. Now South competed with Three No-trumps. Now, was this natural, or did it show diamonds as well as clubs? Who knows, but everyone passed.

West led the ace of spades against Three No-trumps and East followed with the eight. Erhart judged this was either a singleton eight or from J 10 8 (when possibly her partner might have judged it better to follow with the jack). After a long delay West switched to a heart and a thankful declarer came to 12 tricks and a rather undeserved gain of 13 International Match Points.

Game all; dealer North


49 7 6 5

!Q 8 4

#A 10 9 5 4


West East

4A K Q 3 2 4J 10 8

!10 9 6 !K J 7 5 3 2

#3 2 #Q 6

2J 10 4 27 2




#K J 8 7

2A K Q 9 8 6 5