Jacoby and Texas transfer bids have become the system of choice for the great majority of tournament players. Besides making the stronger hand declarer, these bids provide a superior follow-up structure. The Texas transfer (unlike Jacoby by normal agreements) can also be used in competition, as illustrated by this deal from a recent team match.
Norths jump to 4 forced South to become declarer in 4 . Normally, the Texas transfer shows at least six cards, but North took exception with his powerful five-carder good judgment in my view.
So far, so good, but the trauma arose in the play. Declarer won the spade lead and drew two rounds of trumps, discovering the 4-1 break. Next came a club finesse, losing to the king. West cashed the Q and continued spades, forcing dummy to ruff as East discarded his remaining clubs. Declarer was now history. If he drew trumps, he could never enjoy Norths long club; and if tried to unblock the clubs first, East would get a ruff. Too bad.
Careful play could have ensured success. Declarer should draw all of Easts trumps (South discarding a spade) then play the A and another club, taken by the king. West does best to continue leading spades, but declarer does not ruff the third spade, instead pitching a diamond from dummy. On the fourth spade, dummy ruffs, and declarer jettisons his blocking club on the same trick. The 10-9 are then clear to cash, and the A takes the last trick.
© 2000 Richard Pavlicek