Two-over-one books continue to appear. Another published this year is “Playing 2/1 — the Rest of the Story” by Paul Thurston. This is a sequel to “25 Steps to Learning 2/1,” which came out in 2002 (both Master Point Press). The new book covers some fresh ground and expands on other parts.
Note that Thurston does not like transfer bids, arguing in favor of two-way Stayman (where both two clubs and two diamonds are Stayman, and two diamonds guarantees at least game-forcing values). He gives three deals from tournaments to support his argument, today’s layout from the 2013 Canadian National Teams Championship being one of them. What should West lead against two spades?
At the other table, South responded two hearts, a transfer. North’s two-spade rebid was passed out. East understandably chose the heart 10 as his opening lead. Thurston says that this defeats the contract, and that declarer went down two. Well, that is not right if declarer guesses about the bad trump break when West takes the second trick with his spade ace, and the defenders continue hearts to make South ruff. But why should he?
At Thurston’s table, West led the diamond jack: queen, king, two. East returned a diamond, and declarer just drove out the spade ace to get home.
When you have four trumps, it is usually better to try to make the long-trump hand ruff, not aim for a ruff yourself. West should have led the heart two. Why are there so many two-over-one books? Because it is the system of choice these days and is harder to use than Standard American.
© 2017 United Feature Syndicate