Bid four-card suits up
the line with a 4-4-3-2
Or vote by post (Editor, English Bridge, 23 Erleigh Road, Reading RG1 5LR).
Comments for publication (not more than 200 words, please) are welcome.
WITH a 4-4-3-2 and 15-19 points, playing Is responder going to rebid over 3NT or
a 12-14 1NT, we all open 1™ with two four- do more than raise 2NT to 3NT with such
card majors. This is to allow responder a poor suit? Notice how comfortable these hands are
room to bid 1´ which we can then support. On the other hand, 3NT might still be if the opening is in the cheaper suit and
With two four-card minors, it often does the best spot: responder bids opener’s second suit. With
not matter, but opening 1® is least likely to Hand 2, if opener starts with 1® and
cause a problem. If you have a stopper in responder bids 1´, you have a comfortable
every suit, you can rebid comfortably in no- Layout 2 raise to 4´. With a couple of points less,
trumps regardless of which suit partner ´ AK75 ´ Q42 you can jump to 3´.
bids. The same applies if you open 1t, but ™ KQ W E ™ AJ In layouts 1, 2 and 3, once opener starts
then problems can arise if partner bids your t 952 S t J643 with 1® responder knows that a club fit
second suit and you have an unguarded ® AK98 ® QJ43 exists. You might still end up in 3NT on
outside suit. Consider this situation: layout 1 rather than the excellent 6®, but at
If you open 1® and least you have a chance to find the slam. In
Hand 1 partner bids 1t, you If it goes 1´ – 2® – 3NT you are in good layout 2, you will certainly arrive in 3NT
´ A63 can sensibly bid 3t. shape, but if you opt for 1´ – 2® – 4® you after a 1® – 3® start. In layout 3, you will
™ 76 If you open 1t and are almost certainly going to be over- definitely avoid 3NT after a 1® opening,
t AKJ6 partner responds 2®, board. If you do choose 3NT, not only whether East replies 1™ or opts for a 3t
® KQ43 what do you propose? might you miss a slam, but 3NT could be splinter. Notice that West also has no
You are much too wrong, too: problem if East replies in a red suit. After
strong for 3®, but 4® 1® – 1t or 1® – 1™, West can show the
will take you past 3NT, which might well spades and find the best spot thereafter.
be your best spot. Layout 3
The same problem arises when your ´ AK75 ´ Q92 Finally . . .
4-4-3-2 has a four-card major and a four- ™ KQ W E
card minor. t 952 S t 3 If you always open the cheaper suit with a
Imagine you pick up as dealer: ® AK98 ® QJ643 4-4-3-2, then when opener starts with the
If you open 1´ and higher suit and bids a lower suit later, this
Hand 2 partner responds 2t, will guarantee at least five cards in the suit
´ AK75 you have an easy 3NT You have an easy 6®, but if the bidding opened.
™ KQ rebid to show exactly starts 1´ – 2® – 3NT is responder sup-
t 952 19 points. What if posed to run for fear that you have an un-
® AK98 partner’s bid is 2®? guarded suit? For all responder knows, the Layout 5
Do you jump to 3NT hands could be like this after a 1´ opening: ´ KJ ´ AQ3
and hide the club sup- ™ AK864 W E
port? Or (if you can) rebid 2NT, forcing, t KQ73 S t AJ652
to show 15+ points and pass partner’s Layout 4 ® 76 ® 43
raise to 3NT? You might easily miss a slam: ´ AK75 ´ QJ2
™ KQ W E
t AK98 S t 3 West North East South
Layout 1 ® 952 ® QJ643 1™ Pass 2t Pass
´ AK75 ´ 43 ?
™ KQ W E
t 952 S t KQJ You have nine tricks on top in 3NT, while If West supports diamonds, East knows
® AK98 ® Q7654 5® might fail if you encounter a bad that West has five hearts and now the
trump break. partnership should reach 4™. r
www.ebu.co.uk August 2010 English Bridge 23