M J Bridge

Bidding

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Theory and Conventions

Hand

A12

Context

ebu Sims pairs - May 2008

Dealer

West

Methods

Double of 1NT, common-sense escape, basic wriggle, Halmic, Helvic, 2NT wriggle, exit transfers

Vulnerability

Neither




N

7 5

9 4

K J 9 7 4

K Q 5 2


S

A Q 8

A Q J T 5

Q 8 3 2

3


W

9 6 4 3 2

8

5

A T 9 8 6 4


E

K J T

K 7 6 3 2

A T 6

J 7

Opening 1NT, double of 1NT, common-sense escape

1NT from East is routine, and many Souths will find a double.

Playing a simple basic method West can escape into either clubs or spades.

If he chooses clubs, as shown, then North should find the penalty double.  If his choice is spades then North can choose between double (on values) or 3 which might elicit 3NT from South.

W

N

E

S

-

-

1NT

x

2

x

-

-

-




Opening 1NT, double of 1NT, basic wriggle, Halmic,Helvic

In each of ‘the basic wriggle’, Halmic and Helvic a redouble by responder promises a five-card suit, and demands 2 from opener.  North should pass - he will get another go.  East does as he is told and South chooses between 3 and pass.  3 will lead to 3NT by North.  Pass will give West a choice as above, and if he chooses clubs North will probably double for penalties.

W

N

E

S

-

-

1NT

x

xx

-

2

-

-

x

-


Post-beginner to intermediate

Evaluation


There are several possible final contracts, and so an assessment of methods is particularly difficult.

With both major suit kings lying right and two entries in diamonds 3NT will usually make nine or ten tricks - 400 or 430.

3 by NS makes ten tricks for 130.

If West finds himself playing in a doubled club contract then North will find the spade lead and a subsequent ruff to hold declarer to seven tricks - 200 to NS at the two-level and 500 at the three-level - it might make one more if played from the East hand.

And if EW finish in a doubled spade contract then an attack on trumps from the North hand might hold declarer to as few as five tricks for a loss of 800 or 1100.


EW need a method which will let them rest in 2 preferably played by East, and NS should be in 3NT or 2x.

Having said that, 3 + 1 was by far the most common score earning 53% of the match points for NS.

The above suggests that any of the methods which use xx to show a five-card suit work best for EW, and that NS will then be best rewarded by brave bidding.  Note though that if the redouble is used to show any five-card suit then the hand will be declared by West rather than East three times out of four.  In this respect exit transfers are the winner for EW.


Note also that the recommended choices would be very different if the vulnerabilities were, say, reversed.

NS would still need to find their 3NT game for 600 or more, but EW would now be able to afford up to three down.  Having said that, it is unlikely that any shenanigans by EW would keep NS out of their vulnerable no trump contract.

4 would represent a good sacrifice, but 4 is more likely via either a transfer route or the 2NT wriggle, and this could prove seriously expensive.

Beginner and above

Advanced

Opening 1NT, double of 1NT, 2NT wriggle

Adverse vulnerability probably isn’t the right time for West to deploy his full armoury of conventions and insist on declaring at the three-level, but if he does then 2NT can be defined to promise 5-5 in a major and a minor.

3 by East shows three cards in each major and West will choose 3 which will probably be doubled by North.

W

N

E

S

-

-

1NT

x

2NT

-

3

-

3

x

-

-

Intermediate and above

Opening 1NT, double of 1NT, exit transfers

At a different vulnerability West might transfer into one black suit and then rebid in the other.

At this vulnerability discretion should be the key and a simple transfer into clubs at the two-level should suffice.

North will bid again - probably 3NT.


W

N

E

S

-

-

1NT

x

xx

-

2

-

-

?

-

-

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