What should I bid? (March 2013)


What should I bid? (March 2013)

The best submission for March came from Albert Braunstein. He wins a voucher of $30 funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at the Bridge Shop or Paul Lavings Bridge Books.

Hand:     Dealer East, E/W Vulnerable:



Pass Pass
1 Pass 1 Pass
Comments:            What would you bid on the West hand?

Andy’s Reply:

Hi Albert,

On this hand I would rebid 3 natural and game-force. Surprisingly, 1-1 is undoubtedly one of the most difficult auction to handle in a natural based system given the lack of forcing bids. Without any gadgets to aid you, I would only have a 3 game forcing jump shift left at my disposal.

Over 3 my partner’s bids are: 3 with six spades, or 3 with a doubleton heart (can be a tripleton too, albeit it would be a bit rare), or 3 “fourth suit”. If my partner does bid 3 I will then bid 3 to show a typical 3-5-1-4 shape give or take.

If my partner decides to raise my 3 to 4, I will then have to guess to bid 4 or 4 as a suggestion to play (in which partner should get the hint that my 3 is most likely to be a fragment). If I had a real club suit, I would have to bid 4 over the 4 raise which says nothing about a diamond control as it’s the only bid left to set clubs as trumps.

It might seem laughable, but this is where the Benjamin 2 opening helps (or whatever other names that have been given) showing 18-21 with a long suit. Almost all top players worldwide would not waste a 2-level opening just for these hand types as most would think they can handle it just fine by opening them at the 1-level, but surprisingly when these hands do come up, they usually become a rebid problem.

The Italians have their own invention whereby they can rebid a conventional 2 showing 11-15 with natural clubs or various 16+ hands (known as “Gazzilli”).

Note: A lot of Australian pairs play a jump-shift as mini splinter and therefore play a new suit as forcing. This a style that I used to play a long time ago and have come to dislike because of many many reasons. If that’s the case here on this deal, you will have no choice but to rebid 2 and hope that it doesn’t get passed out 🙂 (Yes, some say new suit is 100% forcing but usually most people play it as 99% forcing where in the 1% you can pass, for example if on this deal East had 5-6 points with a 5-1-5-2 or 5-1-4-3 shape. 1% may seem rare but the reality is that it happens quite often because when one person holds a long suit with 18-21 points, their partner rates to have a weak hand).



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