Bridge is a game with thousands of unusual situations. Being aware of these situations is called “Technique”. One point of technique is that a 4-3 fit is often right at the one- and two-level, more so than at a higher level. Another is that at the same level, notrumps is more difficult than a suit contract.

In a teams event you hold AQJ, KJ4, 1098, J962, vulnerable versus non vulnerable. You open 1in second seat, and LHO jumps to 2. Partner doubles, and RHO passes. You consider passing, but decide on your other choice, 2NT:
Dealer East N/S Vul

10 9 8 6 3
9 3
A Q J 7
Q 7
7 5 4
A Q 8 7 5 2
3 2
K 4
K 2
10 6
K 6 5 4
A 10 8 5 3
K J 4
10 9 8
J 9 6 2

West leads a heart, and East returns a heart when in with K. You lose eight tricks for -300. In the discussion after the score-up, one of your teammates listens to the bidding, then looks at your hand and says “2”.

Yes, that would have been a far better choice than 2NT. How do players in their twenties know these things?

South’s fifth spade was a bonus, but the double of 2guaranteed at least four spades, and the 4-3 spade fit would still have been much better than 2NT.

Two months later I held A54, K73, KQ2, 9852 and the bidding proceeded:

West North East South
Pass Pass 2 Pass
Pass Dbl Pass ?

Partner is a near certainty to hold four spades, and 2NT may not play well opposite a hand that couldn’t open the bidding. So, in light of the previous experience, 2was an easy choice:

West deals, EW vul

K 10 8 7
J 6
10 9 6 4
A K 3
J 9 6 3
Q 5
J 7 3
Q J 7 4
Q 2
A 10 9 8 4 2
A 8 5
10 6
A 5 4
K 7 3
K Q 2
9 8 5 2

2played nicely, and scored +140, though perfect defence could have held it to eight tricks. On the other hand, 2NT would have had no chance. Q lead would have set up five heart tricks, plus A, for down one.

There must be many times in the past when you have looked for a minor suit fit at the three-level, or battled it out in 2NT. In future keep in mind 2, knowing the contract is going to be played in a 4-3 (Moysian) fit. Paul Lavings
Paul Lavings Bridge Books & Supplies