M J Bridge

Bidding

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Theory and Conventions


N

A 6 5 4

9 6 2

A T 8

8 7 5


S

9 2

8

K Q J 9 7 4 3 2

9 3


W

K Q 8 7

A K J 7 3

6 5

T 2


E

J T 3

Q T 5 4


A K Q J 6 4

Hand

I2

Context

Oxfordshire v Staffordshire 8th Oct 2017

Dealer

West

Methods

Delayed game raise, splinter, second round control, fit-jump, voidwood

Vulnerability

NS



Splinter, second round control

East starts by showing his diamond shortage, and West can only bid the game.

A control showing 5 rebid by East elicits 5 from West, after which the auction will come to rest in 6, possibly after a further cue-bid of 6 by East.

W

N

E

S

1

-

4

-

4

-

5

-

5

-

6

-

Hand I1

Beginner and above

Fit-jump, control showing cue-bids, Voidwood

3 shows a good suit together with heart agreement and is game-forcing.

3 shows first or second-round control in the suit, 5 is Voidwood, and 5NT shows two key-cards outside diamonds.

East has little difficulty in reaching the optimum contract of 6 with some confidence.


W

N

E

S

1

-

3

3

3

-

5

-

5NT

-

6

-





Delayed game raise

East changes suit intending to follow with at least 4, and South preempts as high as he dare at this vulnerability.

West shows his 5-4 shape and East must now take a plunge.

5 invites West to raise with 2 of the top 3 trump hours, but spades remain an unknown quantity.

W

N

E

S

1


2

3

x

-

5

-

6

-

-

-





What happens?


6 and 6 each make twelve tricks.


This hand is an excellent example of why I dislike the delayed game-raise.

Following South’s intervention East can still show his support with 4, but it is all but impossible for him now to show his heart agreement, his slam interest and his diamond void.


The splinter bid does the job well enough, but East will never get another opportunity to show the trick-taking potential of his side-suit.


The fit-jump wins hands down.

Controls are shown at a low level, and East still has the opportunity to show his diamond control.


In the match 6 was bid at five tables (out of twelve), making thirteen tricks on the three occasions when the A was not led.

7 was bid at one table and went (deservedly) one down.

At the other tables three stopped in 4, and three had a look before stopping in 5.

Post-beginner and above

Post intermediate and above

Not recommended