TRAPS FOR THE UNWARY
ONE of the problems that the improving
player struggles with is when a bid can be ´ A2
passed (non-forcing) and when it can’t be ™ KQ984
passed (forcing). In general, ‘new’ suits are t QJ983
forcing and ‘old’ suits (support, or pref- ® 8
erence) are limit bids showing the strength
of the hand. Also, there are some situations bids, which mean you can pass them if you
where you mustn’t pass, otherwise a game What about when partner produces more don’t think game will make. Let’s see one
or slam will be missed. than just a feeble re-bid of his own suit at in action:
This is a situation I see people get wrong the two level? This time you are the
quite often: Partner opens 1® and ´ KJ65 opener and your 1™
Partner opens 1® ´ K3 jumps to 3® over your ™ Q 10 8 7 4 opening is greeted by a
´ KJ87 and you respond 1´, ™ AJ986 response of 1™; your t A2 1NT response; what
™ Q32 (ignoring the poor dia- t KJ764 choice? ® Q4 now?
t 7654 mond suit); partner re- ® J
® J7 bids 2™; what now? You have a great It is absolutely crystal
hand, and your jack of clear to pass. Partner has denied a four-
You cannot pass. clubs will be just what partner needs to fill card spade suit (see ‘Traps’ article in the
Partner’s bid is a reverse bid, showing 16+ in the gap in his suit. Should you leap to October issue) and won’t have four-card
points, and is forcing for one round. He 4NT, or perhaps to 4t? support for hearts or three-card support
could have 21 points and you might even As usual, there is no need: although and a ruffing value as he could have raised.
have a slam on (though that is very un- partner’s 3® bid is non-forcing (showing Partner’s range is 6-9, so there is no
likely!). The right bid is to give preference a good 15 to a poor 18), any continuation chance of game. Believe it or not, I have
to 3®, following the idea of putting is game forcing; simply bid 3t and await seen quite sensible players rebid 2™ on a
partner back to the 5-2 fit rather than developments. At this stage you have no hand like this.
leaving him in the 4-3 fit. Partner will idea what you want as trumps: it could be Let’s review a few points about forcing
pass 3® with a minimum reverse (16-17) diamonds, hearts or clubs (or even no- and non-forcing auctions:
and press on to game with a bit more. trumps!) so tread gently and see where the
What about a different situation, where tide takes you.
people want to bid on when they should Are there any times when a new suit Don’t:
be passing? might be non forcing? There are a few • Pass when partner makes a reverse
Partner opens 1® and cases, mostly when the opener has had a bid, as it is forcing for one round.
´ 72 re-bids 2® over your choice of whether to rebid two or three of • Carry on bidding when there is no
™ K9864 response of 1™; what a suit, and has chosen to rebid two. chance of game and the hand is a
t QJ984 do you do? Partner opens 1™ and horrible misfit.
® 5 ´ K83 rebids 2t over your • Jump the bidding when you are in
As hard as it seems, ™ 8 1NT response; what is a forcing auction and you haven’t
the only sensible call is t Q43 your call? worked out what will be trumps;
to pass. It may not be pretty, and 2® might ® J98654 just keep the bidding low and con-
go down but quite simply, if you carry on This time a hasty pass sult partner.
bidding, you will get too high. Changing is in order. Partner could
the suit to 2t is forcing for one round, have jumped to 3t if he had enough for Do:
and you will only get out alive if partner game facing the 6 points you have shown by • Pass when there is no chance of
supports your diamonds. In all probability responding, and he has chosen not to do so. game and partner could have shown
partner will rebid clubs and you will have However lowly a contract of 2t is, it’s a strong hand but has chosen not to.
‘rescued’ partner from 2® to 3®! always better to stop low and take the points • Bid the full value of your hand;
You should reserve the change of suit for in the bank rather than aim high and miss. remember a raise of partner’s suit
hands where game is on the radar such as What about bids in no-trumps? Almost is a non-forcing limit bid. r
this one (top of next column): exclusively these are non-forcing limit
www.ebu.co.uk February 2011 English Bridge 13