TRAPS FOR THE UNWARY
your major suits
ONE of the mistakes that people often By showing the major-suit fit you end up
make when they are starting out is to in the right denomination (spades) and
forget to look for major-suit fits where the right level (game).
they exist, in favour of a hasty bid, often in Michael Byrne
no-trumps. Let’s see a few more situations when we
This sort of hand is a frequent example: might forget to look for major-suit fits:
Partner opens 1t Partner opens 2NT your rebid? Say that
Hand 1 and the next hand Hand 2 and the next hand Hand 4 partner opens 1t
´ K875 passes; what do you ´ 87 passes; what do you ´ Q 10 8 3 and responds 2t over
™ Q 10 3 do? ™ KJ97 do? ™ AJ your 2® bid, and you
t 86 t Q876 t Q6 have Hand 4. You
® K J 10 8 ® J93 ® KQJ75 correctly responded in
your longest suit,
since you are strong
In my experience, players who are just Remember to bid enough to make seve-
learning bridge are split into those people Stayman – it would Partner 2 Partner 4 ral bids, and you
who want to bid no-trumps (because they be embarrassing to ´ AKQ ´ KJ42 should carry on
have stoppers in the other suits), and those bid a confident 3NT ™ AQ843 ™ 654 showing your shape
that want to show their strong club suit. It only to fail when we t AJ2 t AKJ95 by bidding 2´. Part-
may come as a surprise to learn that the had a nice heart fit. ® 62 ® 6 ner’s hand may be as
right bid is 1´, and it is not even a close Partner’s hand may in Partner 4; now 3NT
decision. be as in Partner 2. (which partner will
It is very important that you don’t The worry you had about the spade suit pass if you bid it) has no chance, but 4´ is a
respond in no-trumps when holding a will soon be allayed – when the opponents contract that should present no challenges.
four-card major, as it gives partner the cash the first five club tricks! 4™, mean- Let’s review a few points about bidding
wrong message. while, is nice and easy. major suits as responder:
Remember: if you start by bidding a
major suit, there’s always plenty of time to Partner opens 1™;
end up in no-trumps later. This is because Hand 3 the next hand passes; Do:
a change of suit is forcing, which means ´ QJ54 what do you do? • Show a major suit, even a poor one
partner has to bid again. However, if you ™ 6 (Hand 1), in preference to respond-
respond in no-trumps t K8753 ing with a bid of no-trumps.
partner can (and will) Partner 1 ® 874 • Remember to bid Stayman even
pass, and a major- ´ A J 10 4 when you have a balanced hand
suit fit will have gone ™ K4 (Hand 2).
begging. t AK754 It may seem strange • Look for a major-suit fit on the
This may be your ® 65 to respond in a suit Partner 3 second round even if partner
partner’s hand: that is not your long- ´ 10 8 3 2 doesn’t show one at first (Hand 4).
est, but you must bid ™ AK642 Don’t:
Now compare these two auctions: 1´. The hand is not t 64 • Worry about the quality of your
strong enough to bid ® AJ major suit – length is strength.
Auction 1 at the two level, and if • Be side-tracked by wanting to show
West North East South you only get one shot partner your point count: there’s
1t Pass 1NT All Pass you should show your major. If partner time to limit the hand later on.
has a diamond suit he will rebid it, and the • Let a minor suit distract you when
Auction 2 right trump suit will be found. If he has four you have a weak hand; if you are
West North East South spades (as above), he can support you. only worth one bid, show the major
1t Pass 1´ Pass suit (Hand 3). r
3´ Pass 4´ All Pass What about missing major-suit fits on
www.ebu.co.uk October 2010 English Bridge 13