What should I bid? (May 2016)

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What should I bid? (May 2016)

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

Not vul, vs vul

West East
Kxx
KQxxx
xx
Kxx
Qxxxx
Jx
JTxxx
x

The bidding:

West North East South
 1NT* X 2 X
Pass Pass Pass

*1NT=12-14

Result: -1100pts (while 2x and 2x = only -300pts, vs their vul 3NT)

We play weak NT not vul, but same principle if strong NT.

Was East right to run to 2 initially, or stronger 2?

Should West have run to 2? (risky as partner maybe be void in hearts)?

Should East have then run to 2? (thinking partner likely has 2 diamonds to be doubled, so surely has 3+)

Hi Sid,

As it always is, weak NT is fantastic when it works, but sometimes it comes at a cost when the 1NT is doubled – and when it is doubled, that’s when you need to try and minimise your losses and make sure you find your best fit to play in. Thus, when your 1NT is doubled, it would be best if you could reduce any guesswork when it comes to locating your best fit.

Whether East chooses to bid diamonds or spades on this hand is essentially a ‘guess’. It’s more about finding the right fit rather than “bid spades because they’re stronger”. For example, imagine if West’s spades and diamonds were switched, and now you’d be wishing you’d be playing in diamonds rather than spades!

Over the actual 2, West should definitely not “run” to 2 because East could easily have a six-card diamond suit. As for whether East should re-run to 2 when 2 is doubled, that is unclear because partner would of course always pass with 3 or 4-card diamond support (the opponents don’t always bid perfectly, sometimes they “tempo double” us even if we land in an 8 or 9-card fit).

If you have a run-out system where East can show a two-suiter (4+/4+), then that would be best. One possible run-out, for example, is that an immediate bids show “that suit and a higher suit”, and XX shows a single suiter (opener relays with 2 to ask which suit). On this hand, East would be able to bid 2 to show “diamonds and a higher suit [hearts or spades]”, West can then bid 2 as a “pass or correct”, and East will then correct it to 2.

There are lots of different types of run-out schemes over 1NT-(X)-?, and there is no “perfect” method, so it is up to you and your partner to decide on what you like best. Whatever your run-out scheme is, you should be able to show a single suited hand (5+ suit), as well as a two-suited hand (4+/4+ in both suits).

Hope that helps,
Andy

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