Page 0022

22 English Bridge August 2018 www.ebu.co.uk

A

significant reason for five-card majors being

as widespread as they are is that the

problems of intervention are reduced. That

applies as much to the weak no trump base

considered here as for strong no trumps or indeed,

strong club systems. Establishing the presence - or

absence - of a major-suit fit is top priority and

much of bidding directly addresses that.

Simple (non-jump) intervention does not

inconvenience a single raise. When a simple raise is

right on values, it is invariably best in an

uncontested auction and especially in competition.

As your left-hand opponent might raise the

overcaller's suit, it is essential that any fit in opener's

major be confirmed - or denied. Even with slender

values or in dangerous situations, responder should

announce a fit if one exists. When responder passes,

opener almost mentally deletes the possibility of 3card

support.

With support and values in excess of a single raise

responder will want to jump. That's undoubtedly

right holding four-card support (or more) but what

about three? While knowing the size of fit is

important in constructive auctions, it is crucial in

competition; unless you distinguish between 3-card

and longer support, partner will misjudge the

combined offensive/defensive orientation. Fewer

trumps between you and partner mean fewer

ruffing tricks when you declare but top cards are

more likely to take tricks when you defend.

Over non-jump intervention we are typically

considering eight-loser hands, say 9-11 (poor 12)

HCP, no shortage and a 4-4-3-2 shape. Had righthand

opponent respectfully passed, responder

would have bid a new suit and subsequently raised

opener to three-major. That is a fragile approach

after intervention; either right-hand opponent stole

the bidding space or left-hand is about to.

The answer is to enlist the cue-bid - bidding

overcaller's suit - to distinguish trump-support in

limit raises. This is a ripe area for conventional help

and serious partnerships devote many sequences to

expressions of raises using 2NT and jumps in unbid

suits in addition to cue-bids (leaving only 1NT and

non-jump new suits to deny support!). For the time

being keep jump raises as with no intervention, 4+

support and values, and use the simple cue-bid for

3-card raises and mark for development.

A few examples should make it clear - have a go

at these. In each case, you must respond to your

partner's major opening, after your right-hand

opponent's action (shown in parenthesis).

Partner opens one-major, they intervene

by Chris Chambers

click

link

Hand 1 Hand 2 Hand 3

1´-(2™)-? 1´-(2™)-? 1´-(2®)-?

´ Q 5 4 ´ Q 5 4 ´ Q 5 4

™ 10 8 3 ™ 10 8 3 ™ 10 8 3

t A 10 7 6 4 t A Q 8 6 4 t A Q 8 6 4

® 8 6 ® K 6 ® K 6

Hand 4 Hand 5 Hand 6

1´-(1NT)-? 1´-(3®)-? 1´-(3t)?

´ Q 5 4 ´ Q 5 4 ´ K J 5 4

™ 3 2 ™ J 10 8 3 2 ™ A J 8 3

t K 8 6 4 t K 6 4 t 6 4

® 10 9 8 6 ® K 6 ® K Q 9

1.2´. The same bid as without the intervention -

there should be no temptation to do anything

else. Indeed, 2´ would be indicated even had 1´

only promised four.

2.3™A. A cue-bid raise. With a fourth spade there

would be little wrong with 3´, except perhaps

with ´Q854 ™1083 tAQ64 ®K6, some would say

with 7½ losers, it is a slight underbid. An eightcard

fit plays much less well and 'raising to the

three-level with three trumps' via bidding the

opponent's suit fits the hand nicely.

A 3™ is an artificial bid and should be alerted. If

opponents ask its meaning explain, 'shows 3-card

support and values for the 3-level at least'. Notice

it doesn't promise any particular holding in the

enemy suit.

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