M J Bridge

Bidding

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N

8 7 6 3

8 7 5 4

J 9 4

J 2


S

A Q 5 4 2

A Q 6

A

A Q 8 3


W

K J

K J 2

K T 8 2

T 7 6 5


E

T 9

T 9 3

Q 7 6 5 3

K 9 4

Hand

H2

Context

Kidney Research simultaneous pairs - July 2018 - Board 3

Dealer

South

Methods

Opening one of a suit, responder passes, raise to the two-level

Vulnerability

E/W


opening 2 game-force,

Opening one of a suit, 5-4 shape, responder passes

Lacking both twenty three points, and anything close to game in his own hand South starts with a gentle one of his five-card suit, intending to force to at least game if partner shows any signs of life.

With only two points North passes, and that’s that.

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E

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1

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Hand H1

Beginner and above

Hand H3

Opening one of a suit, 5-4 shape,responder raises to the two-level.

If North’s method is to raise partner’s major to the two-level with any four-card support (0 to 7 or 0 to 9 points depending on the rest of the system) then he has an automatic raise to two.

South can hardly do less than bid the game.

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1

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2

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4

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2 game-force

Not twenty three points, but the strong 5-4-3-1 shape, all the points working (top honours), and 5½ quick tricks - many South’s will open a game-forcing 2.

North will respond with a negative or relay 2, South will show his five-card suit, and North will bid 4 - weaker than 3 in the game-forcing situation.

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2

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2

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2

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4

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What happens?


Just rounding the numbers ever so slightly 400 pairs played NS on this deal.

Of the 250 pairs who played in a spade contract 170 made 10 or more tricks, 60 made 9 tricks, and the other 20 made 8 or less.

Of the 130 pairs who played in a no trump contract 57 made 9 or more tricks, 47 made 8 tricks and 26 made 7 or less.


4 bid and made is the place to be.  It made 68% of the time and scored 85% or better.

By contrast, 3NT made 44% of the time, and scored 78% when it succeeded.


A spade part-score making 10 tricks scored 59% and making 9 tricks scored 35%.

A no trump part-score making 9 tricks scored 45% and making 8 tricks scored just 14%.


One off in anything came home with a miserable 11%.


Conclusions


Julian Pottage in his commentary has no hesitation in opening 2 leading to the best scoring contract of 4.  He does though point out that the contract is far from certain on what is possibly the most obvious line of declarer play (rough the third club and then play the trump finesse.)

I must admit that I am sorely tempted to start with just 1 despite the point-count.  Note that responder’s light raise as in the second example above will lead to the same contract.

Opening 2NT (or equivalent sequence)

And if you like to open anything which is vaguely balanced in the range and containing a singleton ace then this is a clear 2NT opener, to start and conclude proceedings.

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2NT

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