M J Bridge

Bidding

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N

9 8 7 2

8 5 3

A K 9 7

5 2


S

Q J

T 9 7


K J T 9 8 7 4 3


W

A K 6 3

A Q 6 4

J 8 3

A Q


E

T 5 4

K J 2

Q T 6 5 4 2

6

Hand

D2

Context

Stafford v Stone friendly match - June 2010

Dealer

South

Methods

Weak single-suited, take-out double, 3NT overcall, opening at the five-level, passing for penalties

Vulnerability

Neither



Weak single-suited

If 4 is played conventionally then South must choose between 3 and 5 on his eight-card suit.

3 is unlikely to be punished, but it is also the less effective in disturbing the opposition.

West will either double intending to rebid in no trumps or bid 3NT directly.  East’s diamond response is music to his ears, and his 3NT rebid is routine.

W

N

E

S



-

3

x

-

3

-

3NT

-

-

-

Post-beginner and above

Opening at the five-level, take-out double

If South chooses to open at the five-level then West has something of a dilemma.

Double, as shown, is in principle for take-out - i.e. it does not promise a holding in the suit - but at a high level of bidding it should always promise substantial defence to cater for partner’s possible pass.

On this occasion East has  an obvious suit to bid and only limited defence so 5 is the natural reply.

W

N

E

S



-

5

x

-

5

-

-

-



What happens?


Both 3NT and 5 make for a score of 400 for EW when the spade honours drop somewhat fortuitously.

In the unlikely event that 3 is left to play then South will go for a cheap 150, and if 3x is left it will cost 500 - a small loss on the day.

5 doubled will cost 1100.  Although initially attractive, it would be a much better bid with one more club honour and vulnerable opponents.

Having said that, it will be a brave West who passes as in the last scenario above, and not every East will find the reopening double.

Opening at the five-level, passing for penalties

West’s alternative is to pass in search of a penalty.  East should always strive to reopen in the protective seat to cater for this possibility.  Partner might have a holding in clubs, and he can stand a response in any other suit.

West’s pass card will of course appear with something approaching undue haste.

W

N

E

S



-

5

-

-

x

-

-

-



Previous hand

Hand E1