Welcome to the October bidding forum. Our first problem for
the month is an interesting novelty, featuring exactly four
possible answers, one in each denomination.
Hoi-Ming Chan: 2. Not enough strength and not a good enough diamond holding for 3. 3 is an overbid as it is game forcing. 2 does not promise
six. 3 is an overbid by about a king and a trump.
Leigh Matheson: 3. How else do we find our club slam?
George Zuber: 3. My bidding strength came from shape and unless there is a spade fit or partner has better than opening values game isnít on. So I give my weak bid and see if partner has more to offer. If partner has only limit values and no spade fit, 3 is where we should be. If partner has more let him say so.
Boris Richter: 3. I don't have a maximum for a bid like 3 and I don't have four card diamond support for a splinter raise but I do have two five card suits and quite possibly a lovely double-fit.
Opening with ten points is not usually popular with the
readers, but there don't seem to be many objections to opening
this hand, with valuations ranging from minimum, to game force, to
slam try. There were some objections to the choice of
Robert Black: 2. I meant to open 1!
Paul Tranmer: 3. I HATE that opening bid! Surely 1 would have been better? I'm now endplayed to bid 3 and pray a wheel or two doesn't fall off.
GŲran Lindberg: 3. To open 1 on this hand is stupid. 1 is a better choice... or pass.
Gee, that's a bit harsh. I don't know if stupid is the right
word... but you did have a bit of support from the magazine's expert panel:
Eddie Kantar: 2. Why didn't I open this hand 1 if I was going
to open at all?
Bob Jones: 3. If I opened this hand, I would open 1.
Having chosen to open 1, several readers feel that we are
now too weak to do anything else but rebid our 5-card suit:
Paul Gipson: 2. Better to show a minimum than do anything that might over-excite partner at this stage. Raising diamonds does depend on system a little (strong 2-4-4-3
hands start with 2) but xxx is not a great holding.
Bridge Baron: 2. Bridge Baron has a minimum opening hand. It can't bid notrump with a heart void. It can't raise to 3 with only three-card support for a minor. It can't bid 3 or 3 without more strength. Thus it sees 2 as its only bid.
Eric Leong: 2. I have to keep the bidding open and 3, 3 or 3
are all highly misdescriptive.
Rex Fox: 2. Pard usually promises another bid, spades are OK to try 2.
Erin Tewes: 2. I don't think this is enough for a game force.
Duncan Roe: 3. Really, I wish I hadn't opened. In the old days, I would have bid 2 to show a minimum -- but that promises 6 of them nowadays, doesn't it?
No, 2 doesn't promise six -- but 3 does promise a
game force! As much as I usually hate rebidding 5-card suits, it
is perfectly normal to do so in 2 over 1 auctions when you can't
afford anything else. Partner will be well aware that you may
simply be too weak to bid your 2nd suit.
Jim Thatcher: 3. Spades are not strong enough to rebid.
Fred Altstock: 3. Have to show some clubs, but probably wouldn't have opened light.
Zbych Bednarek: 3. Show shape with a weak hand; over any rebid 4 (could be 5134 or 5035).
Stephen Bartos: 3. Don't know enough about the quality of partner's hand yet; will pass if she rebids diamonds.
Partner will not be amused at that double-cross;
even in 1950s Acol, that auction must be 100% forcing. And even if
partner weren't unlimited, I'd still be content to have a shot
at game opposite a minimum 3 bid such as x-xxxx-AQJxxx-Kx.
Further, the opponents' silence, with their known heart fit,
makes it even less likely that partner is minimum:
Amiram Millet: 3. If partner has only 10 HCP, opponents are going to overcall (they have at least
nine hearts), so this is the first step on finding where we belong.
the 3 bidders were aware that the bid was game forcing, but
thought the hand was up to the job:
Kristian Frimer: 3. Donít think I am strong enough to bid 3,
even though I know 3 is game forcing. If partner bids 3NT or 3 I will support his diamonds.
Bastiaan Korner: 3. I suppose it is somewhat against the rules, but what else?
Ron Landgraff: 3. Must look for game, 5 or 4 or even 3NT.
Damo Nair: 3. This is a decent hand with good controls
and North bid diamonds, not hearts.
Tim Trahair: 3. Seems a good description of our hand. If North now bids
hearts, 4th suit forcing, we will revert to spades and hope we find a reasonable contract.
Frank Campbell: 3. Donít like to support diamonds yet with only a poor 3 card suit. I intend to bid 4 over either 3, 3 or 3NT but at this point either of my suits may be our right spot.
John Furedy: 3. Need to communicate shape, and though short of HCP, void in hearts should compensate.
David Monahan: 3. Now partner knows I am distributional and if he/she rebids diamonds, or 4th suit forcing, I will show my interest in game (or better) in
It seems clear that 3 is an overbid. On the one hand,
having opened a 10-count it is tempting to try to slow down the
auction with 2. On the other hand, we opened this hand because
of its great potential opposite a fit. So aren't we selling
ourselves short if give up on the search for that fit?
It looks like we need a way to search for a fit without forcing
to game. Top score:
Sydney Frish: 3. I opened a 10 HCP shapely hand vulnerable. To bid 2 would give the wrong information and 3 may prompt partner with a good hand to go over the top.
Rainer Herrmann: 3. 2 is misdescriptive, anything else is too much of an overbid, but I prefer 3 to a splinter.
Tony Treloar: 3. Don't like it, but it seems the best option.
Barbara Whitmee: 3. If partner passes with about 11 points than we are in the right partscore. If partner bids 3NT then I will take it out to the safer 5.
Nigel Guthrie: 3. In pursuit of a plus score.
John & Jennie: 3. North has 10+ HCP and at least 5 diamonds so support the
diamonds with your 15 total points.
Ron Lel: 3. This is a matter of style. Some people play that 3/ show
extra values (as do I). For those, there is only one bid Ė 2. Personally I think
this style is sensible in a 2/1 system; I have always wondered how those who
don't play this can show extra strength without getting too high.
Well, with respect to the 3 bid, the answer is simple --
they can't. The 3 bidders will land on their feet
occasionally, but most of the time they will find themselves in
deep water. However, I don't think the 3
bid falls into the same category. In the age of "support with
support", I would hate to play a system that prevents me from
supporting my partner with a minimum hand.
Alvin P. Bluthman: 3. With the fit, this hand is worth about 15 points, which seems to be at about the top of the "passable" raise to 3 in your system. Here in America, neither the 2 nor 3 rebids could be passed, even in a partnership that allows itself to pass responder's 3 rebid in a sequence such as 1 - 2; 2 - 3.
Sam Arber: 3. Not strong enough to bid 3, if partner passes 3 probably best spot.
Joe O'Flynn: 3. Too weak for anything else.
Tim Francis-Wright: 3. 3 has some merit, but it understates my diamond support. 3 would be better if I had a fourth diamond. (Opposite 10-11 HCP and long diamonds, 5 is not that great a contract on balance.) If I bid 3 and partner makes another move, then I will be fine, either because she has extra values or because she has spade tolerance.
Pat O'Connor: 3. What a heartless auction!
Roger Yandle: 3. Pard will expect 4 but my void in hearts makes up for it - pard should have 5 diamonds unless 2443. If she can't bid on after 3 then we're probably (hopefully) at the right level.
Manuel Paulo: 3. My support is not long enough to justify a
3 splinter bid, but I must raise.
Leading to our final, and most extreme option: the 3 splinter.
This received virtually no support from the readers, and just
one vote from the expert panel:
Kate McCallum: 3.
will be the right move when there's a diamond slam, but will get
us way too high when partner's hand is something more normal
like xx-KQTx-AQxx-Jxx. Even 3NT may be too high facing that sort
of hand, but it probably has a shot. I wouldn't quarrel with a
-- that could easily be our last plus score.
Ulf Nilsson: 3.
Three small is not enough support for a splinter raise. 3 is more encouraging than 2.
Tom Moss: 3. Diamonds not good enough for a splinter. Partner would expect a diamond honour.
Toby Weinstein: 3. Not strong enough to bid 3. In US would bid 3.
Barbara Hunter, David Matthews: 3. Really not strong enough for a splinter so will just give support. Will see what partner does over 3.
Terry Dunne: 3. In my view, we would need either an extra diamond or more strength to splinter. Similarly, we're not really strong enough for 3. Whoever is bidding 2 can't count...and 3 is the only other bid I can think of.
The full deal: