Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, July 9th, 2021


GinnyJuly 23rd, 2021 at 8:15 pm

Hi Bobby,

In BWTA, a bid of 2nt was not discussed. Is 2nt a convention here? Is the 10, 9, x, x not worthy? I like that bidding 2nt right-sides the NT contract, protecting my broken honors in the other suits, and provides a pt count range. If partner has Qx or similar, I could hope for more than 1 spade trick (or frozen at 1). If partner has today’s South lesson-hand (with perhaps some fiddling to make 1C the right bid), surely they will bid again, probably taking us to today’s hand and lesson.

Bobby WolffJuly 23rd, 2021 at 9:57 pm

Hi Ginny,

First, nice to hear from you again and so soon.

While a bid of 2NT after a major suit opening is usually, at least in the higher level group, and in the absence of an overcall, played as an arificial convention, usually a GF and with 4+ trump.

However, after partner opens with a minor suit, then 2NT, with or without an overcall, is natural.
Of course, whether it is a GF 13-15 or instead only invitational 11-12 is up to the partnership, with, my guess, about 50% either way.

Going further, I would, in both cases, not bid 2 or 3NT since, at least to me, not having a single spade stop (without some help from partner) leaves me cold in even thinking about it, since partner, while even holding a small singleton spade should be able to chance a raise to 3NT while holding a reasonably strong minor suit, AJ10xxx, and hope that it will become 6 of the 9 tricks needed. IOW, allowing partner to be relatively certain that the opponents suit is at least singly stopped.

However, after the first round bid, (my choice 2 diamonds) then if partner rebids his suit, I would venture 3 (cue bid) spades, hoping partner will be able to risk 3NT, therefore following through with a much better chance to stop the overcalled suit.

The above is not close to perfect, but I think better than after lady luck has dealt a spade overcall, then to look it in the face and bid what you don’t have (a legitimate spade stop) seems anti-percentage, although yes, worse things have been done and will continue to be, but when doing so, better to start preparing an excuse, since IMO you will justly be questioned,
if only by a hesitant look.

Even a singleton K or even a Qx will be enough for partner to risk it, but allow your partnership to get the play from where it offers your best chance, and this case is with your partner, assuming he chooses it.

Yes, partner could have the singleton Jack and 3NT still the best contract, but chalk that off to not being well liked by that notorious lady, Dame Fortune.

The above is nothing written in stone, but in the long run we are not far apart, but only an experienced opinion.