Monday Bridge 5 August 2019

Hi All,

A lovely August day. Congratulations to Marion and Cynthia (68%) and Walter and Pat (62%) for high scores for the day. You've all done very well.

Next Monday we'll try to finish lesson 4, Competitive Bidding, and start lesson 4, The Forcing 2-Club Opening. Be prepared

Thursday game will be at 57 North Shore Road, North Durham on the shore of beautiful MerryMeeting Lake. There will be no game at Centennial Hall.

I'll try to add some comments to today's boards. I'll be busy, but check back tomorrow and Thursday.

See you next time.


PS  Comments added to boards 1, 5, 7, 8 and 10.

East opens 1 Club, South may double or overcall 1 Diamond. West responds 1 Spade and North passes. East stops to reevaluate in support of Spades and think. He counts only 16 points, so raises to 2 Spades and West passes. It's a race for overtricks and plus 2 gets the top.

North opens 1 Club, East passes and South responds 1 Diamond to force partner to describe his hand. West overcalls 1 Heart and North rebids 2 Clubs. East may or may not compete to 2 Hearts or 2 Spades. South will reevaluate in support of Clubs to 16-17 points and knows that his support gives partner at least 16. He ponders slam but needs partner to have at least one Ace. He can't use a control bid because they have not overtly agreed on the suit. He decides to jump to 4 No Trump and pass if partner responds 5 Clubs. If West interferes with 5 Hearts, North would pass to show one Ace (D0P1) and, if not, North would respond 5 Diamonds. In either case South bids the slam and it makes for the top.

Suppose South ignores the slam chance and just bids 5 Clubs. West will sacrifice to 5 Hearts and North/South will have the same decision with no way to check the Aces. They will have to set West with cold comfort for themselves.

West opens 1 Spade and East responds 2 Diamonds to show his 10 or more points and to force partner to describe his hand. West lacks the 15 points to reverse to 3 Clubs, so must rebid 2 No Trump. East decides that slam is out of reach and just bids 4 Spades. It makes for the top. Good job, Ray and Bill!

There is an opening hand opposite an opening hand and a 5-3 major fit. It shouldn't be that hard. Please take a good look at this one.


West opens 2 Clubs and East bids 2 Diamonds, waiting. West rebids 2 No Trump and East stops to think. Systems are on, so he ponders what to do next. He has 9 HCPs and the singleton. He must bid to show that he has enough for game, but what? He has too much to just bid 3 No Trump, but what about an invitation to 4 No Trump? Partner would go to slam with 24 HCPs or maybe a good 23, but would pass with 22.

He thinks his hand is more valuable in a suit and there might be a slam with a good Diamond fit even if partner has only 22 HCPs. He can't bid 3 Diamonds (Jacoby Transfer) or 4 Diamonds (Texas Transfer) and 5 Diamonds would be a stop. Yuck! He has choices, but it's not easy to choose the best one.

He can bid 4 Clubs, Gerber, to check the Aces. This might help him decide what to do next. West will respond 4 No Trump to show his three Aces. East can then blast to 6 Diamonds or 6 No Trump. If he still has cold feet, he can pass or bid 5 Diamonds.

He can invite with 4 No Trump and hope partner can bid 6 No Trump.

He can jump to 5 Diamonds and hope partner can bid 6 Diamonds.

He has one advantage in this situation. Since he would pass without enough for game, any bid says he has enough for game and is therefore forcing. Suppose he bids 3 Spades, forcing partner to bid 4 Clubs. If he corrects to 4 Diamonds, he promises a long Diamond suit. West would pass if he had opened 1 No Trump or 2 No Trump, but in this situation partner would surely have just passed if he didn't have enough for game. West will probably bid 5 Diamonds with his good support. East can then reevaluate in Diamonds as 14 points and bid 6 Diamonds.

In other words, slam is possible, but nowhere as easy as I told several pairs at the table. Sorry!

East opens 1 Heart and South squeezes out 1 Spade. West passes and North stops to think. He wants to get to game, but isn't sure whether to be in Spades or Clubs. He needs to force partner to tell him more, but bidding either suit will not be forcing and partner is likely to pass. He decides to cue bid 2 Hearts to force partner to game. South doesn't like to rebid his 5-card suit, so rebids 3 Clubs to show his two suits. North now bids 5 Clubs and it makes for the top.

If South chose not to overcall with his skimpy Spades, North would overcall 2 Clubs to show his 6 Clubs and 13-16 points. South reevaluates to 12 points in support of Clubs and knows that his support gives partner at least 16. He raises to 5 Clubs for the top as above.