August 2018 English Bridge
Hand 1 Pass. Without 3-card support you are left
with 1NT or Pass. With just 12 points and a single
spade stop I think pass is prudent.
Hand 2 Dble. Showing 3-card support, any
strength (though in practice a weak no trump is
probably the most frequent hand type). Having a
minimum is not such a deterrent since they have
only overcalled at the 1-level.
Hand 3 2™. Showing 4-card support (personally I
even think this is best alerted).
Hand 4 2´. Showing 16+ with a primary heart fit
(an advanced version of the unassuming cue bid
- here extended to opener not responder as is
usually the case with UCBs)
Hand 5 Pass. Yes you might, I repeat might,
double to show 3-card heart support. However
with only a minimum and the dreaded 4333
shape I think pass is correct. We are not obliged to
bid here as the overcall came at the 2-level.
Hand 6 Dble. Here we are able to admit to 3-card
support quite happily.
Hand 7 2NT. Even with three hearts it is best to
describe 18-19 balanced, on this occasion with
two diamond stoppers. Heaven preserve any of
you that wish this to be 12-14. Guess what?
Partner might only have 5 or 6 HCP.
Hand 8 2™. With 4-card support the minimum
values should be no real deterrent to supporting.
Hand 9 2™. Sometimes we have a weak no trump,
sometimes clubs and support. Either way we
simply show a minimum with 4-card support.
Hand 10 3™. A great way to cramp the bidding for
the opponents without overstating our values.
This shows under 16 HCP due to our failure to
make a UCB of 3t! Neat.
Hand 11 2™. Partner has shown 3-card support so
this is an easy one.
Hand 12 2®. This will suggest we only have four
hearts (otherwise we would repeat since partner
has shown three) and minimum values with 4+
clubs, giving partner a choice.
Hand 13 2™. As usual I'm not trying to shy away
from the difficulties associated with the subject.
Without a true spade stopper 1NT is unattractive
(though not impossible I suppose). We have no
side-suit to offer so simply have to be brave and
prepare to play a 4-3 fit with consummate skill.
Hand 14 3™. We might well choose to compete
here. We are known to have nine trumps so the
'Level of the Fit' supports this decision. You can
take into account vulnerability when making
decisions like this.
Hand 15 4™. I would bid 4™ here - sometimes we
need to take the pressure off partner. Our good
controls (aces and kings) will be pulling full
weight so game should have a realistic chance. A
fringe benefit is that sometimes the opponents
will now sacrifice if we appear to have bid game
confidently enough - even if it is a phantom
sacrifice! We will of course then double most
Hand 16 3½™ seems the best bid to me. I suggest
you can achieve that if you play 'game-try
doubles' here. So I would double - but maybe that
is a subject for another time . . . r
Answers to crossword on page 52
2 3 4 56 7
E L PACKSOFF
N A RCOU TRUN
EVE S SCG KH
N A MPICKIER
EWTUT P L AZA
ENCER E E