Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, April 17th, 2022


Iain ClimieMay 1st, 2022 at 12:33 pm

Hi Bobby,

I totally approve of your choice on Freak Hand’s query although there is a slight risk of heart overruffs. Is there any case for a slower approach (start with 2H) trying to get doubled there or does it just up the chance of them finding a cheap save in clubs?



clarksburgMay 1st, 2022 at 1:19 pm

Good Morning Bobby
Matchpoints, Vul against not, North Deals
NS playing 2/1, 1NT Forcing
North Q109432 Q764 A K3
South AJ 1093 K10642 Q72
Some questions about hand evaluation and bidding judgement:
Is the North hand worth a 1S opening? Is weak 2S not at all appropriate?
After 1S > 1NT should North just rebid Spades, or show the Hearts?
After 1S>1NT> 2S, is the South hand worth a 3S call?
Why am I asking?
Well, one of our strongest Norths passed. And another one did show the hearts over the 1NT response. Finally, one “old-fashioned-style” North did open 2S.
And many Souths elected to invite after their initial 1NT.

bobbywolffMay 1st, 2022 at 2:08 pm

Hi Iain,

No doubt I agree with your choice bid of 6 spades. in effect a literal slam try. Depending on the vulnerability (not given) it may or may not, talk believing opponents, often depending on their personalities, rather than exactly their bridge leanings, into a save.

While your bid will echo through the glens it is rather unlikely, if you buy the hand, receive a trump lead, but even if you do, chances are the jack of trump (in your dummy will be sufficient to not get overruffed since the king, if held by the opponents is more likely to rest with lefty than righty.

Besides, at least my style, enjoy early high-scale intervention, if, for no other reason than to have a better chance to keep those pesky opponents in hearts, if they, while believing you, take the lazy way out and merely do so in lefty’s first bid supported suit.

Alas, my experience will have no doubt of what to do, although I would never guarantee such action will always work (making or instead, doubling 7 hearts), only about, my guess, around 80%.

bobbywolffMay 1st, 2022 at 2:50 pm

Hi Clarksburg,

Always welcoming your entrance, almost every time on our favorite day to supposedly rest.

No question I would open the subject hand 1 spade, with both pass and/or 2 spades not close to even being a consideration. Reasons being the powerful 6-4 distribution plus possessing both major suits.

It then is not at all surprising with then your follow up queries, since all of them require very close, but likely consistent choices.

With the opening bidder’s then rebid, I must confess I would choose 2 hearts to which your partner might conceivably pass, but if not, should (while holding a strong doubleton) conservatively return to 2 spades as a way of keeping it open (in case partner was just below a stronger rebid or to find the right trump suit, just in case he happens to be 6-4).

If and when the opening bidder had a decent 5-5 (K10xxx, AQxxx, Ax, x) I would expect his 2nd rebid to then be either 3 or possibly 4 hearts, if, for example he held the AQJ instead of just the AQ) depending on his normal aggression, with those particular ducats leading to a good game contract. But if the original opener only chooses three hearts, methinks the responder should definitely come to life and raise to four, simply because of his
additional strength plus the key jack of spades.

All the above will, over the course of many sessions, play itself out as a reminder in seeking a proper way to explore both what suit and at what level.

And just to remind what is necessary, a game contract is worth being in, over an instead part score, if only having a 50% chance of making.

clarksburgMay 1st, 2022 at 6:31 pm

Thanks Bobby
Follow-up question:
I, as North, chose to suppress the heart suit and rebid 2S (my intent was to show nothing extra, and to show / imply the six-long Spades).
In that auction, should South then just pass, or bid 3S to invite? (with what seems, to me at least, a flawed 10 count).
Thanks again.

bobbywolffMay 1st, 2022 at 7:59 pm

Hi Clarksburg,

An easy answer to your question, narrowing it down to only two choices, both at about 50%, both yes and no, whichever one works.

Bidding two spades will about 90% of the time show 6 spades and a reason to open one instead of two, almost always a slightly better hand or perhaps only a distributional plus, such as also a four card but weak heart suit.

Victor Mollo, alias Hideous Hog, would pass, but then retort, “If I was declarer I would give myself a raise, but with you at the helm, I sincerely hope you scratch out eight tricks”.

Pretty shrewd of me, to not take a position, not allowing others to return fire!