Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, August 23rd, 2020


ClarksburgSeptember 6th, 2020 at 5:02 pm

Good morning Bobby
This is just a very ordinary hand from a Club Pairs game. But I thought there might be some aspects of interest to Sunday readers in “learning mode”.
North AJ862 753 10654
South 1097 AK9 A2 QJ984 (Dealer)

At three Tables the auction went 1C 1S 1NT (seems the 1S guaranteed only four, and South declined raising with 1097)

At two Tables NS reached 2S, the better contract. Auctions were:
At one Table it went 1C 1S 2S (here the 1S systemically may have shown five; or if only four, South elected to raise with 1097)
At one Table it went 1NT 2H (transfer) 2S (1NT style is 14+ to 18- ;this Pair could also get to 2S via 1C 1S 2S as the 1S systemically shows five).
Could you kindly offer some comment / suggestion on how you would bid these hands?

Iain ClimieSeptember 6th, 2020 at 7:01 pm

HI Clarsburg,

I think you’re a card light – has the hand with 5 spades got a club singleton? For what it is worth, I’d regard South’s hand as perhaps too strong for a 12-14 1NT but others might not and 1N 2H 2S seems plausible for many ranges of 1N. If I did upgrade the South hand playing 12-14, I’d expect the auction to go 1C 1S 1N (15-17) 2D (if N is 5341) 2S.

Bobby’s answer will as usual carry more gravitas, but I hope this helps.



ClarksburgSeptember 6th, 2020 at 8:50 pm

Iain and Bobby
Iain Thanks. Yes the North hand has Club 2.

bobbywolffSeptember 6th, 2020 at 11:44 pm

Hi Clarksburg & Iain,

Methinks what was discussed by you two pretty well covered the bridge front.

However, (meaning about ready to get my two cents worth), I’m all for relatively simple auctions, like those depicted here, with the only slightly alarming factor, the failure to raise to 2 spades with any three, unless the opener is totally balanced 4-3-3-3 (except in spades) then preferring 1NT (or higher).

Raising immediately has larger advantages than expected:

1. more preemptive to opponents competing.

2. yes, some 4-3 fits are declared, but no higher than the two level, since the hand with 4 spades should not rebid spades without eventually legally checking with partner if he has 3 or 4. Besides, the playing of 4-3 fits is not nearly as risky as many feel and the experience of doing it has been known to make them better overall players.

Not wasting time with support doubles since the built in structure takes care of that contingency, and when the opponents play support doubles and then veer back to a better fit elsewhere, your opponents are immediately notified how many spades his partner has, allowing them to be much more accurate in both their bidding (mirror distributions which usually are not desirable for declaring) and above all, especially their choices for defense.

Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the show?

More can be said, but not by me, at least now.