Monday Bridge 3 February 2020

Hi All,

What a nice day. It might as well be spring. Congratulations to Dave and Cal (66%) and Walter and Pat (66%) for high scores for the day. You've all done very well.

Next Monday we'll cover reverses over a 2-level response. Don't miss it.

Next Thursday at 10:30am the Master Class on defense will cover opening leads in No Trump contracts. Give it a try. 

Check back tomorrow and Wednesday for comments on today's boards. There should be some interesting points.

See you.


PS  Comments added to boards 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 13.

I'm not proud of this one. I made two questionable bids and then scored it wrong. 

East opened 1 Spade, South overcalled 2 Clubs and West passed. I had only 7 HCPs and my void was in partner's suit. If partner had to rebid her Clubs at the 3 level, I would have put her in a spot. The devil made me do it and I invited with 2 Hearts, promising game if she could support my suit and had 15 or more points for her overcall. She did and raised to 3 Hearts to show her support and values. I then passed, apparently feeling guilty about my previous bid, and missed the game. I compounded the errors by entering the contact as 3 Diamonds. Despite all that, we got a good score. There's just no justice!

South opens 1 Diamond intending to rebid 2 No Trump to show her balanced hand and 18 HCPs. North responds 1 Heart to force partner to describe her hand. South rebids 2 No Trump as planned and North raises to game. It makes two overtricks for the top.

South opens 1 Spade  and North raises to 2 Spades. East doubles and West advances 3 Diamonds. West passes or takes a chance with 3 No Trump. Both contracts go down, but Jean finds a way to make 3 No Trump for the top.

Suppose West opens 1 Spade in third seat. North will double, East will pass and South will have to advance 2 Diamonds. North will probably jump to 5 Diamonds and make it for a top.

Let's suppose West instead passes. North may open 1 Club and South makes a disciplined pass. West overcalls 1 Spade and North either doubles for takeout or jump-shifts to 3 Diamonds. Either gets them to 5 Diamonds again.

North may open 2 Clubs.  South responds 2 Diamonds, waiting, and North rebids 3 Clubs. South will probably assume a 6-card or better suit or 25 points and raise to 5 Clubs, going down.

Nothing quite fits here to get to 3 No Trump, but yet ......

It's not against the rules to open 1 Diamond with the West hand and many would. I would pass in first seat with no Aces and 4 Quacks. North's 1 Heart is also marginal, but I would also open in second seat with such a good 12. I would not overcall or double with East's hand. South passes and now West must come alive with a takeout double (He doesn't want to let North play 1 Heart). North will pass and East will stop to think. He has enough points for game normally, but partner has already passed and it's a long way to 11 tricks. He will probably just bid 2 Clubs to settle for the part score.

If West opens 1 Diamond and North overcalls 1 Heart, East will respond 2 Clubs to promise 10 or more points, 5 or more Clubs and to force partner to describe his hand. Whatever West bids to describe, they are likely to push to game and go down.

There's always wiggle room, but the closer you stay to normal standards, the better you communicate.

East opens 1 Diamond and West responds 1 Heart to force partner to describe his hand. East stops to ponder whether to rebid 2 Diamonds to show his 6-card suit or 1 Spade to show his two suits. Let's suppose he decides that he can rebid the Diamonds later, but this may be his only chance to show his good 4-card major. West is now interested in 6 No Trump, but sees two obstacles. Could he be missing two Aces and how many HCPs do they have? If he bids 4 No Trump, Blackwood, do they have a system to stop at 5 No Trump if partner has no Aces? Should he gamble on 6 No Trump or just settle for 3 No Trump?

In this case, it's much easier for West if East decides to rebid his 6-card Diamond suit. He knows that he has a suit fit and plenty of points. If he bids 4 No Trump and East shows no Aces, he can stop at 5 Diamonds. When partner shows both Aces, he can choose between 6 Diamonds or 6 No Trump. 

East can't know which way will work better, but this hand does illustrate the things to consider.

South opens 1 Club and West doubles (Big). East advances 2 Hearts to show his best suit and 9-12 points. West jumps to 3 No Trump and East stops to think. He's concerned about transportation, so corrects to 4 Hearts. West can't see slam, so passes. It makes two overtricks for the top.

North passes with his flat 12 HCPs and East opens 1 No Trump. West invites with 2 No Trump and East raises to game with his maximum. It makes for a good score. Nancy made an overtrick for the top, apparently a gift when North flopped his Ace of Clubs. Don't forget to say thanks.