By Phillip Alder
---- — New Zealand Bridge is published six times a year in a small-page format. It contains the usual mix of tournament reports, quizzes, hands to bid with your partner and compare your final contracts with top players, and a bidding panel with experts from around the globe who answer six problems.
Most magazines like to concentrate on accurate bidding and play, but do include some errors -- as in this example from New Zealand Bridge.
How would you analyze the bidding? West's opening bid showed 9-12 points. East's two-club response was Stayman. And South's two-no-trump intervention indicated at least 5-5 in the minors.
Against three no-trump, West led a low heart. How many tricks do you think declarer took?
Down Under they like weak no-trumps. East sensibly used Stayman to play in two of a major. South's overcall was crazy -- his hand was far too weak. When an opponent opens with a weak no-trump, you must bid constructively, not destructively, because your side could have the high-card values for game. North's raise to three no-trump was iffy with no spade stopper, but since he thought his partner had at least opening values, it was reasonable.
West led the heart two. East won with her queen and shifted to a low spade. West won and returned the heart jack. This allowed the defenders to take nine major-suit tricks. South discarded badly, keeping only two clubs in each hand. So when East now led a club, West took the last four tricks in the suit for down nine!
Details are at nzbridge.org.nz.