Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, November 7th, 2021


ClarksburgNovember 21st, 2021 at 5:28 pm

Hello Bobby
Matchpoints fav VUL
LHO opens 1H, Partner passes, RHO raises to 2H.
You hold: KJ9 72 KQ96 A1085.
I assume this clearly calls for a “pre-balancing” TO double. Correct?
If instead the Opps bid / raise Spades, would 2NT (both minors) be appropriate? Or pass and hope Partner may act.
Other comment / advice?

Iain ClimieNovember 21st, 2021 at 6:36 pm

HI Clarksburg,

FWIW (and Bobby is a far better guide) I’d double 2H here but be much more twitchy if LHO opened 1S and RHO raised to 2 as my SK may be under the cosh (although dummy could have Q10x(x) of course). If partner has short spades (likely) he / she can re-open if 2S comes back to them after all. I know it is favourable vulnerability but it is still possible to walk into 300 (or worse) against the field scoring 140 while I have fair defence vs spades.
Please quote the full ahnd after Bobby’s reply, though.



ClarksburgNovember 21st, 2021 at 9:40 pm

The full deal was:
N KJ9 72 KQ96 A1085
E A10754 KQJ63 VOID 642 (Dealer)
S 86 A9 1075432 KJ9
W Q32 10854 AJ8 Q73
Sorry to you and Bobby, but I mis-tated the Vulnerability…it was Both VUL.
Many auctions started (1S) Pass (2S) ? . No North acted over the 2S.
At our Table, East, for some reason, opened 1H and it went 1H P 2H ?. We did not act over the 2H…hence my initial question.

bobbywolffNovember 22nd, 2021 at 12:33 am

Hi Clarksburg,

Yes, I agree with Iain with doubling if it had gone 1H P 2H ?, but passing if it was 1S then raised to 2 by partner.

Although I understand and sort of agree that 2NT by the 4th seat emphasizes competing in the minors, the other agreement of natural could also be held while holding Kx or whatever in their suit, and a (more or less) solid minor suit with assorted extra values (what it was up to about 1970).

The only other knowledge I could pass on is that if North in this example and against spades does pass, which is then passed by the opener, partner should double when holding s. x, h. QJxx, d. Jxxx, c. A10xx. but instead merely pass with s. Qxx, h. Kxx, d. KQ10x, c. Q10x. Finally a 2NT reopening bid by partner would, of course be for minors. However if someone now advises that instead of for minors it could also include hearts and one minor, I would disagree, since to do so, allows in all kinds of future misunderstandings waiting patiently for a disaster

Also if South holds s. xxxx. h. xxx, d. KQJ9xx. c. void and being NV I would balance 3 diamonds, especially at matchpoints, and depending on who is my partner, even when vulnerable.

I’m sure the logic of the above is commonly known, but just in case it isn’t, it should be.

Happy landing and should you do as I confessed and go down much, my advice would always be to go to the store and buy some luck, not the bad kind.