Page 0013

Traps for the Unwary by Michael Byrne

Opening 2® (Part II)

IN THE last issue we looked at the 2® Certainly 2® – 3t should always be based

opening, the strongest opening bid in Acol, on a six-card suit or an exceptional five- Hand A Hand B

and we considered what you needed to card one, as it is so space consuming. ´ Q32 ´ J763

open 2® and how best to judge whether If you are ever lucky enough to be dealt ™ K854 ™ 65

your hand was worth a 2® opener. This a solid suit and hear your partner open t Q 10 8 2 t 8743

time we will dwell on responding to a 2® 2®, then you can give a jump positive ® 65 ® 765

opener and subsequent bidding. response. For this your suit needs to be

One common fallacy is to believe that a A-K-Q-J-x-x or better, as a grand slam will Hand C Hand D

2t response shows a bad hand and that all be in the picture. ´ 87 ´ Q764

hands of 8 or more points must give a ™ 96432 ™ 8754

positive response – absolutely not. HHHHH t 8754 t 4

Despite the tenet that ‘a positive response ® 76 ® KJ87

shows 7+ points (traditionally an ace and A response of 2NT shows 8+ balanced, but

a king is the required minimum)’, it does should normally be avoided unless you are

not follow that a 2t response denies 8 4-3-3-3 or have good support for all suits, Hand A should bid 3´, a stronger bid than

points. Normally when you have values it means 4´ and let opener decide whether to look

If that were the case what would you bid partner has a shapely hand and is about to for a slam. Hand B should bid 4´ to show

on these hands? rebid in a suit, in which case you want to be spade support and a bad hand; partner can

Please don’t tell me able to support him. A hand such as: still go on but only with an exceptional

´ Q32 that three queens and would be ideal, as you hand. Hand C bids 2NT showing a terrible

™ Q42 two jacks makes you ´ A32 can raise partner’s suit hand, waiting to see where they’ll end up; it

t J876 respond 2NT – your ™ KJ6 on the next round and wouldn’t be a good idea to bid 4´ as partner

® QJ2 hand isn’t worth a t 10 4 3 2 let cue-bidding begin. might be 5-4 in the majors. Hand D jumps

positive for starters. ® J32 to 4t to show a singleton or void diamond

Then there are some and primary support for spades.

lopsided hands that have the strength but Let’s review some of the dos and don’ts

in the wrong places: HHHHH of responding to a 2® opener:

Here you have good

´ AK2 controls and some When it comes to raising partner’s suit,

™ 8 playing strength but a remember that you are in a game-forcing Do:

t 98654 positive response of auction (the only time you can stop in a • Give a natural positive response

® J976 3t is a crime against part-score after a 2® opener is the one when you have a good suit with five

humanity. Partner will auction 2® – 2t – 2NT which is 23-24 or more cards (or six in diamonds).

expect you to have a HCPs, non-forcing) so this is one of the • Feel free to give a negative response

good diamond suit with honours in it, rare times when a three-level raise is of 2t with 8+ points just to hear

rather than five ‘grotties’ and controls stronger than raising to four. If the what is going on; there is always

outside. auction begins, say: 2® – 2t – 2´, then time to catch up later.

This sort of hand has with good values bid 3´ (something like Don’t:

´ A865 three suits, and half 6+) and with a poor hand and primary • Give a positive response on 4-4-4-1

™ KJ76 the problem will be support bid 4´. hands: you must be balanced for

t Q942 finding a fit. Start with Traditionally 2NT is used as a second 2NT, and have at least five cards in a

® 8 2t and you will be negative, which shows you have a really suit to bid it.

well placed to raise poor hand. • Give a positive response on bad

partner later on. If you have a shortage and support for suits; it will just mislead partner.

A positive response in a major suit partner, you can jump to the four level as • Forget that in a game-forcing auc-

should contain a good suit of at least five a Splinter, but even though partner has tion, a jump to game is always weak

cards so that partner can support quite promised a five-card suit your jump shows (‘fast arrival’). With good values,

freely on as little as J-x-x. In a minor suit, four-card trump support. take the bidding slowly, as every bid

you will often have six cards, as your Let’s see some hands that you might have below game is forcing. r

positive response takes up so much room. after the auction has started 2® – 2t – 2´: October 2012 English Bridge 13


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