Defensive Bidding by Frances Hinden
Common Sense Defence Part II
A series to help tournament players when they come up against unusual conventions
THE PURPOSE of this short series is not to too good to overcall 2NT on the first from partner’s hand that opener has long
introduce more conventions to learn, but round. Bid 3t, which should be natural diamonds and we have long clubs (as in the
rather to show how common sense can solve and very weak. This auction is different case covered by Hand 3 in the last issue).
many of the problems you may be faced with from one where partner overcalls 2NT on
playing in a tournament. the first round, because now you have
Test yourself on the hands below. In passed over 2™ implying a weak hand. It is Common Sense Tip 8: Double of a
each case, you are South, holding the hand more important to escape to a long weak ‘pass-or-correct’ bid is take-out if
shown, and you are playing a simple suit than to use 3t as a transfer to hearts partner has shown general values,
defence against unusual pre-empts: once you have denied a decent 9+ points. If not any specific hand type.
you do want to force to game you can cue-
1. If the opponents promise length (4+ bid 3´ or just bid 3NT.
cards) in the suit bid, double is take- West North East South
out. 2NT Dble 3® Dble
2. If the opponents promise length in Common Sense Tip 7: If you have Pass 4® Pass ?
some unknown suit(s), double is already shown weakness, bids of a
general values. new suit are natural and weak even Partner’s 4® can’t be natural: if he wanted
3. If the opponents promise length in if partner now shows a strong bal- to play in clubs, he could pass your double.
another, known, suit, double is take- anced hand. Instead he is showing a hand now worth a
out of that suit. game force, but not sure where to play.
4. If the opponents are playing a multi- Partner doubled on the first round showing
style bid with strong options, assume HHHHH at least opening bid values, so your double
they have a weak hand until proven of 3® could have been a suitable 8- or 9-
otherwise. count just looking to compete. Instead you
5. No-trump bids are (nearly) always Hand 7 have a huge 16-count; you can’t just bid 4t
natural; jumps are strong. HHHHH
´ K J 10 4 or 4™. I think the best call is 6®. This clearly
™ KQJ5 shows a slam drive, it must have first round
Let’s continue from where we stopped in t AQ862 club control, and implies we don’t know
the last issue: ® Void what suit to bid. 5® is also feasible, but that
doesn’t show a hand worth bidding slam in
the way 6® does.
Hand 6 6 Here you are vulnerable against not and Perhaps partner has something like:
´ 10 4 the bidding starts:
™ 4 ´ AQ72 and will have the
t Q J 10 8 6 4 2 West North East South ™ A 10 9 7 3 courage to bid 7™.
® 952 2NT1 Dble 3®2 ? t K
1 A good pre-empt in one of the minors
2 To play opposite clubs
At Game All, the bidding starts:
2NT does not show a specific suit, so
West North East South partner’s double is general values. As 3® Common Sense Tip 9: When you
2®1 Dble 2™2 Pass may be the opponents’ suit and hence end have a very good hand, don’t
2´ 2NT Pass ? the auction, double should be take-out of underbid just because the auction
1 Four clubs and a five-card major clubs (at least to start with). Your hand is has become confusing. Think what
2 To play in partner’s major (‘pass or too strong to bid, say, 3t which might just partner has shown, how much you
correct’) be competitive given that partner has have shown so far, and how much
shown strength. Also, you can’t bid 4® more than that you hold.
Partner has shown a strong balanced hand, because that would be natural – it’s possible
16 English Bridge February 2012 www.ebu.co.uk