September 2020 - 54

Advanced Players

Bidding Matters
BY KAREN WALKER

kwbridge.com

Relearning bridge - part 6
One of the cardinal rules of basic bidding is to be sure you find your majorsuit fits. For responder, this means that
when partner opens, you should (almost) always show a four-card major
if you can do so at the one level. There
are a few exceptions - most common
is bypassing a four-card heart suit to
respond a longer spade suit - but there
are others that aren't so obvious.
With experience, we start recognizing the types of problems that can't be
solved by the simple rules we learned
as beginners. Here are situations
where your first impulse might be to
follow those rules and bid your major,
but concealing it - temporarily or forever - rates to be a better strategy.
Partner opens 1♣ and you hold:
♠K 10 3 ♥9 7 6 5 ♦A Q 3 ♣9 4 3.
1♥ is the standard response, but
it's not a crime to ignore a weak fourcard major when your hand is perfect
for notrump. This one has the right
combination of features - flat distribution, maximum high-card values and
tenaces that you want to protect from
the lead. If partner happens to have
four hearts and a ruffing value, 1NT
may not be your best contract, but it's a
reasonable one.
Partner opens 1♦ or 1♥ and you
hold:
♠A K 10 8 ♥J 7 5 ♦4 ♣K Q J 9 6.
Respond 2♣. There's no reason to

54 Bridge Bulletin September 2020

skew your distribution when you have
forcing-to-game strength, If you have
a spade fit, you can find it later, but if a
club slam is in the cards, you won't get
there unless you bid the suit now.
By setting up a game force, 2♣ leads
to an easier auction, especially after a
1♥ opener. If you instead respond 1♠,
most of opener's rebids will leave you
with no clear way to force and show
heart support. You'll have to bid the
fourth suit and hope partner doesn't
think you're showing a doubleton when
you finally bid hearts at your third
turn. Even with a 4=3=2=4 pattern, 2♣
is a better response with this strength.
Partner opens 1♥ and you hold:
♠Q 7 6 3 ♥- ♦5 4 ♣K J 10 9 5 4 3.
This is another decision that requires you to consider potential problems later in the auction. Your plan
should be to get to a club partscore,
but that will be almost impossible if
you respond 1♠. When you bid clubs
later, partner will rightly interpret it as
forcing and possibly artificial. You may
be at the five level before he lets you off
the hook.
The surest way to make clubs trump
is to give up on spades and respond
a forcing 1NT. Over partner's rebid -
you're expecting 2♦ or 2♥- you can
bid a natural, non-forcing 3♣. Even
if you've missed a 4-4 spade fit, clubs
will probably play better.

Your LHO opens 1♦, partner
doubles and RHO passes. You hold:
♠K 5 ♥J 6 5 4 ♦Q J 9 3 ♣Q 10 2.
When partner opens one of a suit,
he's not always interested in majors,
but you show your length just in case
there's a fit. When he makes a takeout
double, he's showing his length and
asking you to confirm a fit. Is it ever
right to conceal a four-card major
when you know partner has support?
It can be with a hand like this one.
A 1♥ advance is a bit of an underbid
with 9 points, but a jump to 2♥ seems
too much with such weak hearts and
only 6 of your points in partner's suits.
You can't even be sure that any number
of hearts will be the right contract, as
partner's double doesn't promise four
cards.
You can avoid this dilemma by
looking past hearts and considering
notrump. 1NT is the only advance that
accurately shows this balanced highcard strength, and notrump is the only
contract where your diamond honors
rate to be of value.
Partner opens 1♣, your RHO
overcalls 1♠ and you hold:
♠K 10 9 3 ♥K J 10 4 ♦J 7 3 ♣10 2.
Does the same reasoning apply when
you can show your major with a negative double? More about these decisions in the next issue.
◾


http://www.kwbridge.com

September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September 2020

In First Seat - Paul Linxwiler
Inbox -Letters to the Editor
A Message from the President
The Recruiter King
The Rise and Fall of the Precision Team
Eyes on the Street
BBO Helpdesk
NABC Robot Individual
Play the Cards You're Dealt
Endless Summer Results
Defensive Maneuvers – part 4
Ruling the Game
The Bidding Box
It's Your Call
Card Play 101 - by Phillip Alder
Parrish the Thought - Adam Parrish
Reasoning with Robert - Robert Todd
Startup Bridge by Lynn Berg
Lessons Learned by Michael Berkowitz
Bidding Basics by Larry Cohen
Ask Jerry - by Jerry Helms
Mike's Bridge Lesson - Mike Lawrence
Chalk Talk- Eddie Kantar
Boehm on Bridge
Better Bridge with Bergen-Marty Bergen
Challenge of the Month
The Real Deal - by Larry Cohen
West Hands -Bidding Box
Bidding Matters - by Karen Walker
East Hands -Bidding Box
Test Your Play
Mike's Advice - by Mike Lawrence
Solutions to Test Your Play
My Bridge and Yours - by Frank Stewart
Dear Billy - by Billy Miller
Bridge with the Abbot - by David Bird
George's World - by George Jacobs
Life Master Milestones
New Life Masters
Puzzle Page
In Memoriam
Obituary - Sue Erwin (1943-2020)
Obituary - Clint Wright (1944-2020)
Obituary - Norma Sands (1938-2020)
Obituary - Carol Aitken (190-2020)
Obituary - Carol Linch (1935-2020)
Obituary - Barbara Hamman (1937-2020)
Obituary - Maria Teresa Lavazza (1937-2020)
Obituary - janet P. Breed (1935-2020)
Tournament Directory
September 2020 - 1
September 2020 - 2
September 2020 - 3
September 2020 - 4
September 2020 - 5
September 2020 - In First Seat - Paul Linxwiler
September 2020 - Inbox -Letters to the Editor
September 2020 - 8
September 2020 - A Message from the President
September 2020 - The Recruiter King
September 2020 - 11
September 2020 - The Rise and Fall of the Precision Team
September 2020 - 13
September 2020 - 14
September 2020 - 15
September 2020 - 16
September 2020 - 17
September 2020 - Eyes on the Street
September 2020 - 19
September 2020 - BBO Helpdesk
September 2020 - 21
September 2020 - NABC Robot Individual
September 2020 - Play the Cards You're Dealt
September 2020 - Endless Summer Results
September 2020 - 25
September 2020 - 26
September 2020 - 27
September 2020 - 28
September 2020 - Defensive Maneuvers – part 4
September 2020 - Ruling the Game
September 2020 - 31
September 2020 - The Bidding Box
September 2020 - 33
September 2020 - 34
September 2020 - 35
September 2020 - It's Your Call
September 2020 - 37
September 2020 - 38
September 2020 - 39
September 2020 - Card Play 101 - by Phillip Alder
September 2020 - Parrish the Thought - Adam Parrish
September 2020 - Reasoning with Robert - Robert Todd
September 2020 - Startup Bridge by Lynn Berg
September 2020 - Lessons Learned by Michael Berkowitz
September 2020 - Bidding Basics by Larry Cohen
September 2020 - 46
September 2020 - Ask Jerry - by Jerry Helms
September 2020 - Mike's Bridge Lesson - Mike Lawrence
September 2020 - Chalk Talk- Eddie Kantar
September 2020 - Boehm on Bridge
September 2020 - Better Bridge with Bergen-Marty Bergen
September 2020 - Challenge of the Month
September 2020 - West Hands -Bidding Box
September 2020 - Bidding Matters - by Karen Walker
September 2020 - Test Your Play
September 2020 - Mike's Advice - by Mike Lawrence
September 2020 - Solutions to Test Your Play
September 2020 - My Bridge and Yours - by Frank Stewart
September 2020 - Dear Billy - by Billy Miller
September 2020 - Bridge with the Abbot - by David Bird
September 2020 - George's World - by George Jacobs
September 2020 - Life Master Milestones
September 2020 - 63
September 2020 - New Life Masters
September 2020 - Puzzle Page
September 2020 - Obituary - Clint Wright (1944-2020)
September 2020 - Obituary - Barbara Hamman (1937-2020)
September 2020 - 68
September 2020 - Obituary - janet P. Breed (1935-2020)
September 2020 - 70
September 2020 - Tournament Directory
September 2020 - 72
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