M J Bridge

Bidding

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Hands

Theory and Conventions


N

K J 8 6 5

K 9 7 3

Q 9

T 8


S

Q T 9


T 8 6 4

A J 9 7 6 4


W


A J T 8 6 5

K J 7 5 2

K Q


E

A 7 4 3 2

Q 4 2

A 3

5 3 2

Hand

F1

Context

Stone v Stafford - friendly match - June 2010

Dealer

West

Methods

Opening one of a suit, one strong bid, Benji, relay response, an ace and a king positive, Truscott defence, strong two-suited, game-forcing opener, Gold response, Kokish relays

Vulnerability

Neither



Opening one of a suit

The standard approach will be to open this as one of a suit - it is most unlikely to be passed out, and any other normal method is unlikely to get to show both suits.

North, who had thoughts of interfering will now keep his peace, and East will make the natural response of 1.

With an absence of first-round controls the auction quite rightly dies out in game.

W

N

E

S

1

-

1

-

3

-

3

-

4

-

-

-

One strong bid, Benji, relay response

The auction will not differ greatly for those partnerships who play two strong bids(Benji).

The West hand is only just legal for an artificial strong opening bid, but it certainly has the playing potential.

The least that East can do is to jump to the game as shown.

If instead East produces some kind of trial bid or cue-bid the same destination should be reached.

W

N

E

S

2

-

2

-

2

-

4

-

-

-

-

-

One strong bid, Benji, an ace and a king positive

With two aces in the hand many partnerships will make a positive response to the artificial strong two opening, as shown.

For me, the quality of the spade suit makes this a misleading bid.  I prefer to relay.

The same contract should be reached.

W

N

E

S

2

-

2

-

3

-

4

-

-

-

-

-

One strong bid, Truscott defence

In principle, 2 by North promises 5-5 in the majors, but non-vulnerable and able to show both suits at the two-level he might just be tempted.

East marks time and South shows a simple preference.

3 by West is natural, and covers the possibility that North might have set out on some sort of psychic mission.

East may or may not take a stronger route, but should finish in 4 in any case.

W

N

E

S

2

2

-

2

3

-

4

-

-

-

-

-





Strong two-suited (Beach twos)

This was my first attempt to improve on Benji, showing one- and two-suited holdings rather than strong and very strong.  It is a system which works extremely well, but there are probably better uses for these bids.

2 promises eight playing tricks or better in a two-suited hand - 2 is a simple non-positive relay - and 3 promises a two-suiter in diamonds and hearts.  4 by East is a strong preference for hearts after which West signs off in 4.

W

N

E

S

2

-

2

-

3

-

4

-

-

-

-

-





Hand E1

Beginner and above

Hand H1

Game-forcing opener, relay response, Gold responses, Kokish relays

Although the West hand may be worth no more than 8 playing tricks there is something to be said for forcing to game if only for preemptive effect.  East relays although a Gold response of 2 promising 7+ points and a five-card suit might be more in keeping with the method.  2 by West shows either balanced, single-suited hearts, or hearts and another.  East relays with 2, West shows his hand with 3, East shows preference, and West signs off in 4.  East will probably make a further slam effort, but with two key-cards missing the auction should die in 5.

W

N

E

S

2

-

2

-

2

-

2

-

3

-

3

-

4

-

?


What happens?


EW are making eleven tricks in hearts.

3NT is doomed on a spade lead.  East’s suit is simply too insubstantial.

Only the lead of the A and another spade from East will prevent N from making seven tricks in a spade contract.


All roads lead to 4.  On this deal there is nothing to choose between the various methods on offer.

Intervention by North, such as the Truscott defence as shown, gives EW the opportunity to go wrong, and comes at a cheap price.