M J Bridge

Bidding

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N

Q T 4

J

K 8 4 3

K Q 8 6 5


S

A 8

A K 8 7

J 7 6 2

T 7 4


W

J 9 7 6 5

Q 3

A T 9 5

3 2


E

K 3 2

T 9 6 5 4 2

Q

A J 9

Hand

A1

Context

S & S.C.B.A. mixed pairs 2008

Dealer

West

Methods

Fourth seat, limit raise, rule of twenty, weak two-suited, multi, Dixon defence

Vulnerability

Both



All pass

You don’t have to open just because you have twelve points, a hand which satisfies the rule of twenty, or a six-card suit in a weak hand.

If you have a balanced twelve-point hand, vulnerable in fourth seat, or a weak hand based on a long suit of dubious quality then pass should always be an option.  The same argument can apply in second or third seats at pairs.

W

N

E

S

-

-

-

-













Weak two-suited

2 by West promises a five-card spade suit and another four-card suit.

His hand is far from ideal for this opening with such a weak spade suit, particularly vulnerable, but it might appeal to some.

North will consider an immediate overcall, but it is unlikely that he will not get another chance as shown.

W

N

E

S

2

-

-

x

-

3

-

-

-




Opening one of a suit, rule of twenty

A popular method is to open any 5-4 hand with eleven points, as here.

However North’s points are poor (note particularly the singleton Jack), he is vulnerable in second seat, and there is a potential rebid problem if playing strong reverses.  Not for me on this hand.

East may or may not choose to intervene with his hearts - suit quality would suggest not.

Note that if East does intervene then 2NT by South would be natural facing partner’s minor suit - 2 would be a cue-raise supporting partner’s clubs.

W

N

E

S


1

-

1

-

2

-

2NT

-

-

-






Weak single-suited

I would hesitate to open a suit such as East’s when vulnerable, even in third seat, but some will.

Such an action is all but certain to lead to a doubled contract as shown.

W

N

E

S

-

-

2

-

-

x

-

-

-




W

N

E

S

-

-

2

-

2

-

-

-













Multi

In third seat, East might choose to downgrade his points with a weak singleton honour, and upgrade his heart suit, in which case a multi might be used to show a weak two in hearts.  As above, my feeling is that the suit quality does not justify such a move in this instance.

Some will double on the South hand (Dixon defence), but it is more common to choose thirteen points as the minimum for such a bid.

West’s response is automatic but the way for NS is not so clear.  Pass is the safest bid for North, but some will find 3.  If North passes, South is tempted to bid 2NT, but defence is even more tempting.

W

N

E

S

-

-

-

1NT

-

2NT

-

-

-




Opening 1NT, limit raise

A twelve-point opening 1NT is essentially a preemptive manoeuvre.  In fourth seat there is no one to preempt - it may pay off in pairs but there is little point in a teams context.

This South hand is a poorish twelve point with all the risks associated with being vulnerable.  Not my choice.


What happens?


With South playing in a no trump contract it will be a race for declarer to set up his clubs before EW set up their spades or hearts.

Typically, South will make seven tricks.  He might even make eight on occasion, but it is not a comfortable contract.


3 by North stands a chance of making and 2 by West will usually make seven tricks, but it’s a close thing.


Conclusion


The moral of the tail is that any opening bid by any one of the players is likely to lead to a negative score for that player.

A pass would appear to represent the best decision in every case.

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Intermediate and above

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