Page 0038

The Debate Jeremy Dhondy

Don’t Splinter with a Singleton Honour

Two top players debate a hot bridge topic. Tell us whose argument has won you over by emailing

SPLINTERS ARE in most people’s armoury Splinter bid on either hands where you on all shortages; then it does make it more

and are an excellent way of identifying the want to bid game only, or hands where it difficult for partner to judge. You hold:

fact that there is little waste and being able is completely clear to go on even if partner

to bid a game or slam on slender values. shows no interest, so Hands A and C Partner opens 1´ and

Perhaps the most common problem would therefore be suitable. You now ´ KJ64 you respond 4t .

that arises is the awful result that ensues need another way to bid Hand B, and ™ 10 7 6 5 2 Holding crisp cards

when one person in the partnership thinks those who play a 2NT response to 1´ to t K and the ace of dia -

a bid is a Splinter and the other does not. show support (the ‘Jacoby 2NT’) can do ® A93 monds, partner will

‘Was that 4™ minus seven?’ says the oppo- this and then show a singleton. almost certainly move

nent showing you the Bridgemate with So far you have solved when a bid is a beyond 4´ with:

more enthusiasm than normal. Splinter and approximately how many

Assuming you have overcome this small values you should have but there is a third but now 6´ is very

problem and actually agreed when a bid is problem: how partner can judge his hand. much less good. Not ´ AQ975

or is not a Splinter, you then have to Suppose as opener I hold: only will you go ™ KJ4

decide what to splinter on. There are at down if hearts are t A62

least two traps here. The first is the values Partner responds 4t 4-1 and the oppo- ® K5

on which you splinter and the second is ´ AQ975 to my 1´ opener and nents find the right

the cards you hold in the short suit. ™ KJ4 I am delighted to lead, but you will

If partner opens 1´ and you splinter with t A73 cooperate because I also probably need the queen of hearts

4t on each of the following hands, you ® K5 have extra values and onside even if they break – yet you have 28

may have a problem with partner being more importantly the points on this deal compared to 27 on the

able to judge whether to go past game: ace of diamonds op- previous example. On the whole singleton

posite a known shortage. Opposite Hand honours are not great for splintering on

A above we have only a combined 27 count because they cause partner to misjudge.

Hand A Hand B but 6´ is a good contract depending only Say I pick up:

´ KJ64 ´ KJ64 on a 3-2 heart break, but give me the same

™ Q7652 ™ AJ765 values and the following hand: I open 1´ and part-

t 8 t 8 ´ AK985 ner responds with

® A93 ® A93 and not only does 6´ ™ K54 4t. Opposite short-

´ AQ975 virtually have no play t KQ76 age in diamonds I

Hand C ™ A43 but even 4´ could ® 2 don’t want to pro-

´ KJ64 t KJ7 go off on a bad day. gress, so I bid 4´ –

™ AK765 ® K5 A Splinter therefore but partner’s hand is:

t 8 identifies a fit, gives

® AK3 an idea of values so 6´ is excellent

between the two hands and concentrates but, in my opinion, ´ Q432

on values held in a particular suit. partner has misled ™ AQ6

Some players have taken to making the Suppose that it is your policy to Splinter me by choosing 4t. t A

® 76543


Although staff of English Bridge and the staff of Danby Advertising (Advertising Agent for English Bridge)

take all reasonable precautions to protect the interests of readers by ensuring as far as practicable that

A Splinter bid is very descriptive. It

advertisements in the pages of English Bridge are bona fide, the magazine and its publisher, the EBU, can- guarantees at least four trumps, it shows

not accept any undertaking in respect of claims made by advertisers, whether these advertisements are agreed values, and it directs partner to

printed as part of the magazine, or are in the form of inserts. Legal remedies are available if redress is look at his holding in a particular suit.

sought, and readers who have complaints should address them to the advertiser or should consult a local Don’t make him misjudge by splintering

Trading Standards Office, or a Citizens’ Advice Bureau, or their own solicitors. Readers should note that

prices advertised may not be accurate due to currency exchange rate fluctuations, or tax changes.

with an inappropriate hand with points in

your Splinter suit. r

38 English Bridge June 2012


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