Stage 2 Conventions by Neil Rosen
WHEN I started out on the tournament based on opening values, remember), then 3. They allow opener to defend higher
scene (nearly thirty years ago!) I remem- the odds of having a nice 16+ HCPs hand level contracts if he has no fit with
ber playing an early tournament with a are remote indeed. Therefore the need for the second suit, i.e. the lack of a
university friend of mine who had cut his a strong jump shift after an opposing take- ‘double-fit’ often leads to defending
teeth almost exclusively at the rubber out double is almost negligible. in high-level decision making.
bridge table. On an early board he passed, The possible uses for a jump in a new
then over my 1t opener he jumped to 2´ suit after a take-out double can be: Extending the method:
to show ‘a maximum pass’. I remember Fit-jumps in Competition
thinking at the time what a total waste of a) Strong – 16+ HCP with a very good
time – not to mention bidding space – this suit (very rare, as stated above). Hopefully my readers (both of you!) will
was. b) Weak – classically a six-card suit, be understanding both the need and the
I quickly realised that a much better use similar to a weak two opening; 5-9 reasons for describing the hand more fully
of the bid was to play it as a fit-showing HCPs approx. once a fit for your side has been found.
jump (‘fit-jump’ for short!). c) A fit-showing jump (my recommen- You gain a huge amount while losing very,
The requirements for such a bid, i.e. dation!) – four-card support, decent very little by adopting these methods in
jumping in a new suit as a passed hand, are five cards at least in suit shown with my view.
to hold at least five-cards in the suit 9+ HCPs approx. It is very important I believe the principle of fit-jumps can be
jumped into plus four-card support for to note that these bids have no upper extended to encompass all ‘in competition’
partner’s opened suit (9-11 HCPs approx.) limit, i.e. they show a raise to at least scenarios.
Thus holding: the level committed to by the jump. Here are the most common:
After you have pas- I urge you to add these fit-showing jumps a) We open and the opponents overcall:
´ 92 sed initially, if partner to your armoury. They are even more im-
™ AJ85 opens 1™ you can portant than using them as a passed hand. Partner Oppo 1 You Oppo 2
t K Q 10 7 2 jump to 3t, a fit- 1t 1´ ?
® 54 jump, beautifully des- Reasons for Fit-jumps
cribing this hand. after a Take-out Double 3®/3™ from you are both fit-
Reasons for Using the Bid 1. In any competitive auction they help
partner to judge whether to bid or b) We open and the opponents double:
1. A jump shift needs 16+ HCPs – defend. Knowledge of a ‘double-fit’
clearly impossible as a passed hand. will lead partner to bid higher later, Partner Oppo 1 You Oppo 2
2. The fit-showing jump describes a whereas otherwise he may defend. 1t Dble ?
decent suit in the suit jumped into. With our example hand from
This allows for greater definition for earlier, after this start to the auction: 2™/2´/3® are all fit-showing bids.
game- or slam-making decisions.
3. It follows from point 2 above that a Partner Oppo 1 You Oppo 2 c) The opponents open and we overcall:
reasonable suit is required to enable 1™ Dble 3t
partner to be able to appreciate key Oppo 1 Partner Oppo 2 You
fitting honour cards. E.g. K-Q-10-x-x, If the opponents now get together in 1® 1™ Pass 3t
A-J-10-x-x, K-J-10-x-x are good hold- spades, it is much easier to make an
ings, whereas Q-x-x-x-x or A-x-x-x-x informed decision whether to bid on The 3t bid is fit-showing (promising
are not. or not if opener knows more about four hearts and at least five dia-
responder’s hand. monds).
Fit-jumps after Similarly in the following auction
an Opposing Take-out Double 2. They aid partner if you end up def- with both opponents bidding:
ending. In particular, they may guide
Clearly if partner opens the bidding and him in his choice of opening lead as Oppo 1 Partner Oppo 2 You
RHO makes a take-out double (usually well as finding a key switch if required. 1® 1™ 1´ 3t
44 English Bridge June 2013 www.ebu.co.uk