What should I bid? (February 2020)

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What should I bid? (February 2020)

The Bridge Shop has put together a digital care-pack of a free stuff (all digital downloads) for bridge players who may be socially distancing and want to keep mentally active.

The address is: www.bridgeshop.com.au/digital-bridge-care-pack

 

The best submission for February came from Jean Harrow. She wins a voucher of $30 funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at the Bridge Shop or Paul Lavings Bridgegear.
 

Playing 1NT as 15-17, if you have a 5-card major is it better to try to find a fit by opening the 5-card major (so 1NT opening would deny a 5-card major), or is it better to open 1NT?
My partner opened 1NT with five spades, I passed, and we played in 1NT which went down and we missed our spade fit.

It feels like we are missing our fit often.
Thank you.

Hi Jean,

Whether to open 1Major or 1NT with 5cMajor and 15-17 has been a very long debate – and to noone’s satisfaction, it hasn’t reached much of a consensus of what is “best”. What you’ll find is that sometimes opening 1M is better, and sometimes 1NT will work out better – it ultimately depends on the rest of the hand, so that’s why there is no solution of which opening bid is ‘best’.

Opening 1NT has the flaw as you noticed in that you can miss out on the 5-3 fit (or sometimes a 5-4 fit) and find yourself going down in 1NT whereas playing in the major suit can make 8, 9, or even 10 tricks!

Opening 1M has the flaw that you have an impossible rebid if the auction goes 1M – (Pass) – 1NT – (Pass) ? as opener is deciding whether to pass (where 3NT game might make) or invite with 2NT (which might go down). Playing in 2NT might not seem like a loss, but if most of the other tables are opening 1NT, then they will be playing in 1NT rather than 2NT. Not to mention the auction 1 (Pass) 1 and now opener cannot show the 15-17 balanced hand because a 1NT rebid would show 12-14, and a 2NT rebid would show 18-19.

I think these days most expert players have come to open 1NT just to make the constructive auctions easier (e.g. gets the strength across straight away, and it’s also slightly preemptive where the opponents cannot make an overcall), but it’s also to avoid these impossible rebid problems which they view as more important to handle.

Hope that helps,
Andy

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