M J Bridge

Bidding

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Hands

Theory and Conventions


N

4 3 2

T 6 5

9 3 2

J T 9 6


S

Q T 9 8 6

K 9 4

K 6

7 4 3


W

5

A 8 7 3

J T 8 7 5 4

8 2


E

A K J 7

Q J 2

A Q

A K Q 5

Hand

C2

Context

Worcestershire v Staffordshire - October 2016

Dealer

North

Methods

Balanced 23+, relay response, Kokish, 4 transfer

Vulnerability

None



Balanced 25+, relay response

East will show his balanced hand of twenty six points according to partnership methods.

West now has to choose.  At a basic level any one of pass, 6NT, 5, 4 or 6 is possible.

At pairs pass is probably the smart move.

At teams a non-invitational 5 (if available) might be a wiser choice just to provide a little insurance.

W

N

E

S


-

2

-

2

-

3NT

-

-

-



Balanced 25+, Kokish, Puppet Stayman

Playing the Kokish convention, East’s rebid of 2 shows either a game-force in hearts or a balanced hand of 25+.  West relays with 2 and East bids 2NT to show his hand.

This creates additional bidding space, but unless you have a means of investigating a minor suit slam you are little better off and West still has the same choices as above (except pass).

In the auction shown 3 is puppet Stayman, 3 promises a four-card major, 3 shows hearts, and East signs off in 3NT.

W

N

E

S


-

2

-

2

-

2

-

2

-

2NT

-

3

-

3

-

3

-

3NT

-

Post-beginner and above

Balanced 25+, Kokish, 4 transfer

As above opener shows his hand of 25+ points, following which West transfers with 4 to show a single-suited hand in diamonds.  West’s subsequent bid in hearts is natural and forcing, showing five diamonds and four hearts.

Despite all the science East is little wiser about what to do next and might choose any one of 4NT (to play), 5, 6NT, 6.

W

N

E

S


-

2

-

2

-

2

-

2

-

2NT

-

4

-

4

-

4

-



What happens?


As it happens 6NT always makes in practice, although it can be defeated by the unlikely lead of the Heart king.

So does 6.

However 6NT needs the diamond king to fall doubleton, and both contracts need the Heart king to be onside.

At pairs 3NT is the percentage contract, whereas at teams I think that 5 is sounder.


In the match one pair finished in 5 for a totally undeserved bottom (but not too expensive in imps), and a second pair finished in 6 for a good score.  Three pairs reached 6NT, and the other seven all settled for 3NT.

Sometimes there’s just no justice in the world.

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Post intermediate and above