Monday Bridge 6 January 2020

Hi All,

It's good to be back and see you all. Congratulations to Rick and Margie (63%) and Nancy and Bill (63%) for high scores for the day. You've all done very well.

Next week we'll continue with No-Trump Responses to One-of-a-Suit Openings. Bring any questions about what we've covered so far. You really need to know this.

Check back for any comments added to today's boards.

I hope to see you next time.


PS  Comments added to boards 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 22.

East opens 1 Club, West responds 1 Spade and North doubles. South advances 2 Hearts and North stops to reevaluate and think. He now counts 21 points with a good fit, but is aware that partner could have no points at all. He considers raising to 3 Hearts to show the big double and inviting game or just doing it. Either should do the job.

South opens 1 Club and North responds 1 Spade to force partner to describe his hand, East must pass and South can't reverse to 2 Hearts, so rebids 2 Clubs. North can pass 2 Clubs (which goes down) or rebid 2 Spades (which makes).

The hard part is to not get carried away.

It floats to South who opens 1 Heart. North responds 1 Spade to force partner to describe his hand and South stops to think. He wants to be in game even if partner has only 6 points, so can't bid anything that partner can pass. Even a jump to 3 Hearts or 3 Spades would only show 17 or more and partner might pass with 6 or 7 points. If he invites with 5 Hearts or Spades, partner would go to slam with 8 points and that might not be enough.

He decides to jump to 4 Spades. This is not a stop bid. He is describing his hand as a Spade fit and around 20 points. Partner can pass or bid further with extra values. North will consider 5 Hearts to show the double fit and extra values, but will probably just pass 4 Spades. It makes with an overtrick for the top.

East opens 1 Heart and West stops to reevaluate and think. He has a Heart fit and 16 HCPs with all prime honors. He considers his options. He has too much to raise to 3 or 4 Hearts. He can jump to 3 No Trump, but this doesn't show the fit and partner might pass. He decides to invite with 5 Hearts, showing the fit and enough for slam if partner has more than promised. East reevaluates to 16 points with an Ace and a void and raises to 6 Hearts. It makes for the top. Some declarers had trouble, but a dummy reversal gives him 4 Heart tricks, 1 Diamond trick, 4 Clubs tricks and 3 Spade ruffs.

Everyone's in Hearts, but four pairs stopped short of game. How should it go?

West passes and East opens 1 Heart. Since West has already limited his hand, he cannot force with a new suit. He sees a 5-5 fit with around 15 points opposite partner's opening bid, so can't bid anything that partner could pass short of game. He just raises to 4 Hearts and it makes with an overtrick for the top.

North opens 1 Club, East doubles (Big with 18 points) and South responds 1 Spade (Limited to less than 10 points since he didn't redouble). West stops to think. He knows that partner either has Heart support or a lot of points, so advances 2 Hearts. North now sees a Spade fit, but it doesn't look like enough points for game with partner's limited hand, so he merely competes to 2 Spades. East doesn't see a fit, so passes. South sees the fit, but partner didn't jump, so he passes.

A yucky hand, but 2 Spades plus 2 gets the top.

This is certainly the most interesting hand of the day, with different paths to the same end. After looking it over, I've decided what I think is the best approach.

East has 16 HCPs and 5 distribution points for 21 points with a 7-card suit. This meets our criteria for a 2 Club forcing opening. West would respond 2 Diamonds, waiting, to allow partner to describe his hand, but suppose South interferes with 2 Hearts. West doesn't want to make it harder for partner to describe, so merely passes, waiting.

East will rebid 3 Clubs to show his suit and West will stop to think. He now counts at least 12 points in support of Clubs and knows that his support makes partner stronger. A jump to 5 Clubs would show enough for game, but no interest in slam. A raise to 4 Clubs would show extra values and interest in slam. He could also just go by the points and raise to 6 Clubs.

West has way too much to just bid game, but has no Aces and a worthless doubleton in the opponent's suit, so is leery of a jump to slam. He decides to show his extra values with 4 Clubs and let partner decide between game and slam. East reevaluates to 26 points and with his three Aces, Heart void and partner's encouragement, bids the slam. He takes them all for the top.