A strange auction, where our system has twice prevented
us from showing hearts, and now our kind opponents (both
passed hands and with a ten card spade fit) have cuebid 2 to give us one more chance.
I guess we'd better take it.
Martyn Rew: 2. Taking the chance to show
hearts cheaply. Expect a spade bid opposite which will give the chance to show
three card club support.
Nigel Guthrie: 2. An overbid but this may be
the last chance to show hearts.
Nigel Guthrie attempt #2: 3. I'm not brave enough to bid 2 (although that is probably a better bid).
The Haynes twins were caught in a similar dilemma:
Denis Haynes: 2. Show strength in the other major at the
Denis Haynes the 2nd: 3. Too weak to show hearts.
Seems I'm going to have to install something on the web
site to warn people when they've already answered the
questions. Or maybe not -- it's probably more fun this
Dean Eidler: 2. Natural. Intend to bid clubs next. Too good for 3.
Sam Arber: 2. Limited partner may still have
David Matthews: 2. 4 may well be making here as all my cards are pulling their weight. If partner is not suitable we can still return to 3.
Jameson Cole: 2. Since partner knows I'm short in spades, he can deduce I have some support for clubs. I would have bid 1, not 1. This sequence shows more values than I have, but I did pass initially, so partner shouldn't go overboard.
I think we all would have bid 1.
But sometimes the inferior bid leads to a more
Emil Battista: 2. My initial choice was 4. Opting for 2, more bidding to come.
Barbara Hunter: 2. Can support clubs next.
While 2 gets the top score, courtesy of its 29%
plurality status (have you ever seen the word
"plurality" used outside a bidding forum?), in fact 65%
recognised the need to ignore the hearts and get the
clubs in before the auction gets higher. 47% chose a
game try in clubs, while a further 18% chose to support
at a lower level.
This is a major flaw in our scoring system which I've
raised before: 47% (or 65%)agree on a course of action,
but they are split between several individual bids,
leaving the actual minority action free to sneak
into first place.
Let's hear from the actual majority,
the club bidders:
Eric Leong: 3. All roads to game begin by raising clubs.
John R Mayne: 3. Is there some other alternative? I can't imagine what else I'd do here.
David Hester: 3. Seems obvious. I trust the vulnerable opponents enough not to try for an 11-trick game.
Ron Lel: 3. If I wanted to be a smart aleck, I could bid 2 to show a good raise in
clubs. That bid is foolish as it gives LHO too many bids. Bid what I have.
That seems a bid rude -- they went out of their way to
leave you heaps of space, the least you could do is
return the favour. The following readers are more
Bruce Minchinton: 2. Ask partner for spade stopper for NT.
Zbych Bednarek: 2. Too strong for 3.
Ian Smith: 2. My turn now -- a cue-raise to 3.
Terry Dunne: 2. If only I was sure what double would mean to partner... As I'm not, I'll support with support. Game is still possible if partner has a maximum for his bidding so I need to show my limit raise strength rather than simply bidding clubs.
Many people, even some of the 3 bidders, had no
intention of stopping at the 3-level:
Martin Eggins: 4. This makes more spades from West difficult and it's time partner found out that I have
three card support plus red values. Partner can then do the spade distribution sums to bid further. My red
kings should help immensely but game is up to partner.
Sydney Frish: 4. If
four hearts he would have doubled spades; 4 should be safe and make it easier for
partner to save against 4 or push E-W too high.
Liz Jeffery: 4. Passed hand now shows good support with an invitational hand. If opponents bid 4 partner will be in the position to either bid to game or double 4.
Frank Campbell: 3. 5 looks a long way off. If we have game North should have jumped. If West and North both pass we will probably be in the right spot. Will compete to 4 if pushed.
Rex Fox: 3. Intending to compete to 4 or 5.
Bastiaan Korner: 3.
Will bid 4 over 3.
If you're planning to bid 4 anyway,
there's really no reason to not describe your hand in one go:
Steve Johnston: 3. Show short
spades and some values, given that I am a passed hand, to let partner decide whether to sacrifice over 4 or not.
Erin Tewes: 3. You want to show a great hand for partner despite your initial pass. 3 will get passed,
and 4 goes above 3NT, so bid 3
-- if pard has a stop he'll bid 3NT if not he'll know what to do.
But most of the readers (and one machine) were happy to
just stay low:
Bridge Baron: 3. Bridge Baron considers its hand just barely strong enough to raise to 3.
Fraser Rew: 3. I expect to make 3 but not much more. Partner would have jumped on almost all hands where game was making.
Roger Yandle: 3. Looks like a part score battle. Let them guess at the
John Furedy: 3.
Break the law by one, given the vulnerability. By the way, I assume that the advice that South should bid 1 initially only holds for
is fine at any form of scoring. Sartaj just happened to
on this occasion. I think he's going through a minor
phase. By the way, you are not breaking the Law here --
with 19 total trumps and a possible game bonus at stake,
you still have a few tricks to spare.
Tim Trahair: 3. 2 is a possibility but only seems likely to lead to 3, so let's show our support now.
David Monahan: 3. 3 better describes my hand, 2 would make me look stronger than I am and 4 would be stretching to the limit and perhaps beyond.
Manuel Paulo: 3. My hand looks fine for this raise.
Helena Dawson: 3. They are forced to 2 anyway so may as well show support straight away.
That's right, if they can outbid us in spades anyway,
it makes no difference whether we play in hearts or
clubs. At least in clubs we know we have a fit.
We'll finish with the only reader to appreciate the
significance of EW's passed hand status:
Leigh Matheson: 3. East, who knows West couldnít open in 3rd seat, has
shown a hand too good to bid 2! So it would be wise to conservatively assume that Westís next bid will be 3. This means you have one bid left to describe your hand and you need to prioritise.
Letting partner know you donít have a complete misfit is the
main concern here.
The full deal:
North and South were Tony Nunn and Sartaj Hans. We
received a few complaints about their system, which I haven't
printed in this column. Any inadequacies in the system can be
reported directly to Tony and Sartaj. You won't find it easy to
contact them though -- as I write this, they are sitting at
Table One in our national Butler Championships in Fremantle,
having just stopped briefly in Sydney to drop off their Silver
Medals from Indonesia.
Full details of the table action are on page 32 of