What should I bid? (September 2021)

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What should I bid? (September 2021)

The best submission for September came from Kaiping Chen. He wins a voucher of $30 funded by TBIB, toward any purchase made at the Bridge Shop or Paul Lavings Bridgegear.

Bd 13
All Vul
N Dealer
K 8 5 3

Q 9 6 5 3
9 5 4 3
 
9 6
J 9 7 6 3 2
10 4
8 7 2
[ 13 ] Q 10 4 2
10 4
8 2
A K Q 10 6
  A J 7
A K Q 8 5
A K J 7
J
 

West North East South
  Pass 2 X
Pass 2 Pass 3
Pass 3 Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass Pass

Hi Andy

1) What is wrong in this bidding sequence?
2) People argue North should response 2 not 2.
3) Does the 3 cue show spade support?
4) After 2 if South bids 3 is this forcing or not?

Hi Kaiping,

1) The crux of the problem on this hand for N/S was working out the distribution lengths in North’s hand for their sequence.

2) North should 100% start with 2. Majors are so important, and even if North had SIX diamonds, it is still correct to start with 2. Not only should South think that North will not have a 4-card Major if 2 was the initial response, but lots of easy 4 games can be missed if North starts with 2 and South passes (imagine South has some 4441 hand with 16ish 16HCP and would not bother moving on over 2, but can raise the spades).

3) 3 is merely an artificial forcing bid, typically a hand with only three spades but it may be a start of a sequence to show a strong 4-card raise (imagine over after 3, South’s next bid was 4). However, it may still be a very strong hand angling for 3NT (e.g. picture South with a 2461 shape with 19+HCP, whereby a X-then-3 may be passed so a forcing 3 bid must be made.

4) No, after 2 if South bids 3, it would show a strong flexible hand typically with a shape of 3=5=x=x, but it definitely is not forcing.

I think that the auction should go something like this:

South doubles, North bids 2, South 3, North 3, South 4, North 5, South 6.

North’s 2 followed by 3 does not promise anything more than four spades and four diamonds. North’s 3 bid should deny five-card spade suit since North will then repeat the spades as South typically will have 3-card spade support (picture North with xxxx xxx xxxx xx, North’s sequence would be 2 then 3).

The interesting problem comes for South over 3, as bidding 3, whilst it now shows a very strong hand, it doesn’t sound like it’s 100% forcing (i.e. picture again North with 4342 with 0 HCP). South’s plan is to bid 4 then if North rebids 4 (sounds like weakness), then South can rebid 4 which would imply a 5-card suit (with 6+ South can bid 4 over 3 initially). Once South bids 4 showing a strong hand, North should now come alive and continue with a further cuebid of 5. In fact, perhaps North should consider bidding 4 over 3 already since North’s hand is quite powerful with a void in hearts.

Hope that helps,
Andy

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