Page 0006

6 English Bridge April 2016 www.ebu.co.uk

IN MY last article we looked at why I treat a

singleton king as K-x and sometimes even open

1NT with a singleton king. In this article I want to

look at the awkward shape of 5-4-2-2 but too weak

to reverse and propose a simple solution for you.

You hold 13 points and two

doubletons, so you open 1t

right? OK . . . partner responds

1´ (of course) and you have to

rebid 2t. Bidding 2™ would be

a 'reverse' and show a stronger

hand. Let's have a look at

partner's hand:

Partner does not have

enough to bid 2™ which is

forcing for a round and could

leave you dangerously high, so

passes. Two diamonds is a horrible contract yet 2™

has excellent playing potential. What is the solution?

Simply open 1NT in the first place. The point is

that 1NT is the best of an imperfect job in terms of

describing your hand. It tells partner about your

point count and general balanced nature of the

hand. The diamond suit is unlikely to be important

on a game or partscore deal which covers the vast

majority of situations, and in this case partner can

respond 2® (Stayman, intending to bid 2´ over 2t)

and pass your 2™ rebid.

Let's look at another

example. If you open 1®

partner is likely to respond 1™

or 1´. Since 2t would be a

reverse you are forced to rebid

2® and there it might lie.

If we consider a typical hand

for partner. How is 2® looking?

If you had opened 1NT you

would end up in 2™ - a much

better contract. Even 1NT or

2t are better contracts than 2®! Change the

responding hand slightly to:

Now if you had opened 1NT

you would play there -

wouldn't you prefer that to 2®?

There is a further benefit to

opening Hand B with 1NT.

With only 2-2 in the majors you make it harder for

the opponents to come in. Opening 1® makes it

easy. The next hand can find a cheeky 1´ overcall

and reach a contract on say:

´K J 10 7 6 ™K 4 2 tJ 10 9 8 ®2

By opening 1NT this hand would now have to bid

at the 2-level which is risky and most players would

pass. You will notice that Hands A and B have

something in common. They are both 5-4-2-2 and

on both the 4-card suit is higher ranking than the 5card

suit but the 4-card suit is not spades. When the

4-card suit is spades the hand never presents an

awkward rebid. For example:

If you open 1t and partner

responds 1™ you have an easy

1´ rebid, getting both of your

suits across. Opening 1NT on

this hand is therefore not

necessary - although between

you and me I even open this

hand 1NT. I think that is for another article!

So, before you open your longest suit with just

12-14 points and a 5-4-2-2 shape, always think 'am

I happy to rebid my 5-card suit when partner makes

the inevitable awkward response?' If not, open 1NT.

What do I open on Hand D?

Combining this article and my

last about singleton kings you

can guess, but if I put it in

writing I may never be quoted

in English Bridge again! r

The unconventional no trump by David Gold

Bridge TipsBridge Tips

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link

Hand A

´ Q 3

™ K Q 10 2

t A J 7 6 3

® J 3

´ J 8 7 6 2

™ A J 5 4

t 2

® 9 7 2

Hand B

´ K 2

™ K 3

t K Q 6 4

® Q 7 6 5 3

´ Q 10 9 3

™ Q J 9 4 2

t A 7 3

® 9

´ Q 10 9 3

™ Q J 9 4

t A 7 3

® 9 2

Hand C

´ K Q 10 6

™ J 3

t A J 9 6 3

® Q 4

Hand D

´ K

™ Q J 4 3

t K 8 7 3 2

® A 9 8

Index

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