Page 0040




Thanks to Fleur Waters of Eye whose letter to

English Bridge (April 2010 issue) prompted this article

interest (now 4t is a sign off, no 4-4 fit is found, responder can bid 4´,

Sally Brock asking responder to bid 4™ which confident of three-card support.

opener will pass or convert to 4´ – Fairly recently another bright spark (or

this can make the weaker hand maybe the same one for all I know!) came

ONCE upon a time it was considered declarer but only when he is in up with a much simpler solution to this

more important to show the location of game and is known to have fair problem: simply swap the 3™ and 3NT

your high cards rather than the nature of values, so shouldn’t matter too responses. So now:

your hand. These days we realise that much; 4™/4´ set the suit and After 2NT – 3®:

balanced and distributional hands should accept the slam try); 3t denies a five-card major but

be treated significantly differently. Once 4t shows both majors with no slam promises a four-carder;

you might have opened an Acol 2™ with interest; opener just bids his major. 3™ denies any majors, whether four-

´AQ4 ™AKJ32 tK76 ® A 10. For example: or five-card;

Nowadays you would open 2NT. 3´ shows five spades;

Traditional methods of bidding after a 3NT shows five hearts (after this, 4t is a

2NT opening such as Baron (bidding four- ´ A Q65 ´ KJ43 ‘re-transfer’ asking opener to bid

card suits up the line) or Stayman did ™ A 5 N ™ KQ62 his suit and get the hand played


nothing to locate a 5-3 major-suit fit, so t A K 10 6 S t Q5 the ‘right’ way up).

the next step was to play Five-card Stay- ® A 96 ® 872 This removes all problems with 5-4 in the

man. To start with this was simple: 3® majors. Responder can enquire and then

asked if opener held a five-card major – if bid 3´ over 3™, showing five spades and

he had one he bid it, otherwise he bid 3t. West East allowing opener to bid 3NT, 4´ or cue-bid

Then responder could introduce four-card 2NT 3® as appropriate. For example:

majors until a fit was found. 3t 4®

The snag with this method, however, was 4´ 4NT

that it meant that 4-4 major-suit fits tended 5t 6´ ´ AQ4 ´ K J 10 5 3

to be played by the weaker hand with the ™ K5 N ™ A762


2NT opener coming down in the dummy, Once West shows a maximum with four t KQ4 S t A3

making it much easier for the defence. So spades, East is worth a slam and just checks ® AK732 ® 54

some bright spark suggested that it would there aren’t two aces missing (pretty impos-

work better if responder, instead of bidding sible if West is maximum but it always

the suit he held after the 3t response, bid makes us feel a bit more confident if we can West East

the suit he hadn’t got. Brilliant! use Blackwood or RKCB, as here). 2NT 3®

Of course, as with every system, there 3™ 3´

are variations, but this is a fairly simple One of the other problems with bidding 4® 4NT

version: over 2NT is when responder has five spades 5´ 5NT

After 2NT – 3®: and four hearts. This was easy in the days of 7´

3t denies a five-card major but Stayman because after the 3t response

promises a four-card major; responder simply bid 3´ and opener could One can use Five-card Stayman after a 1NT

3™ shows five hearts; choose between 3NT and 4´. But this is a opening too, but it is less common. In my

3´ shows five spades; difficult hand for these new methods. Some view it does not go very well with a weak

3NT denies a four- or five-card major. people like to play that a 3NT response to no-trump because you give up the ability to

After 2NT – 3® – 3t: 3® denies a four- or five-card major and remove 1NT with a weak hand, and that is

3™ shows four spades; also denies three spades, meaning that res- too big a price. It is my preference to play it

3´ shows four hearts; ponder with 5-4 in the majors can happily with a strong no-trump, though, and I like

3NT is to play – responder was only pass knowing that there is no eight-card to play that responder bids the suits he has,

interested in a five-card major; major fit; conversely, the 3t response does not the ones he doesn’t. I’m not sure there

4® shows both majors and slam not promise a four-card major, but when is a good reason for this – just habit! r

40 English Bridge August 2010


  1. Page 0001
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0007
  8. Page 0008
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Page 0015
  16. Page 0016
  17. Page 0017
  18. Page 0018
  19. Page 0019
  20. Page 0020
  21. Page 0021
  22. Page 0022
  23. Page 0023
  24. Page 0024
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Page 0031
  32. Page 0032
  33. Page 0033
  34. Page 0034
  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
  37. Page 0037
  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0040
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
  43. Page 0043
  44. Page 0044
  45. Page 0045
  46. Page 0046
  47. Page 0047
  48. Page 0048
  49. Page 0049
  50. Page 0050
  51. Page 0051
  52. Page 0052
  53. Page 0053
  54. Page 0054
  55. Page 0055
  56. Page 0056