(12), (13), (14), (15) & (16). Comment 13 is
clearly an understatement. Even though he has
opened the bidding, North's bid of 3t is clearly in
the nature of a sign-off. He indicates unmistakeably
that he has no other suit to bid, cannot support
clubs and has good reason to dislike no trumps. If
South felt that his hand was only good enough for
2NT on the second round, his only justification for
bidding 3NT on the third is either a fit with his
partner's diamonds or a solid suit of his own. He
had neither. South could not seriously be blamed if
he had bid game on the second round, since his
partner could scarcely have less to open vulnerable
and the actual contract is not altogether
unreasonable. His selected mode of procedure,
however, was illogical, and West's remark (15)
therefore irrelevant and ignorant.
(12) A. (13) A. (14) A. (15) B. (16) A.
(17) A. This is a further consideration in favour
of bidding game on the second round, without
exposing too obviously to the opponents the misfit
nature of the hand.
(18), (19), (20), (21). There is little to be said in
favour of North's passing 2NT. It is true that North's
hand is weak in honour tricks and his opening
justified only by the length and intermediates in
diamonds. But if these values are an essential
component of his opening bid, it is undesirable to
play the hand in a contract where they may not
materialise as tricks. A bid of 3t here is not a rebid
in any constructive sense and is essentially negative
and discouraging. If South held a more balanced
type of hand with the tA, or even the tJ, 3NT
might well be possible, and South would not be out
of order in bidding it.
(18) B. (19) B. (20) A. (21) A.
(22), (23). South should take the view that,
without an honour in diamonds, 3NT is too risky a
proposition. Even with one, it may be far from a
certainty but unlikely to be altogether impossible on
any lie of the opposing cards.
(22) B. (23) A.
(24), (25). East should not seriously contemplate
a spade bid, especially when vulnerable. After
North's opening diamond there is already some
evidence of a misfit for North-South, with possible
trouble for whichever side plays the hand. Purely as
a lead directing bid, 1´ cannot be worth the risk.
South would be fully justified in doubling such a
bid, and East-West would have incurred a loss of at
least 50 points to save a game which should not in
fact be made. Even if West rescues into 2™, and it is
doubtful whether he should, he loses 200, and is
lucky not to lose more.
(24) B. (25) A.
72 English Bridge August 2018 www.ebu.co.uk
West North East South
Pass 1t Pass 2®
Pass 2t Pass 2NT
Pass 3t Pass 3NT
Pass Pass Dble Redble
Game All. Dealer West.
´ A 8 7
™ 9 5
t K Q 9 8 7 3
® Q 3
´ 9 3 ´ K Q J 2
™ Q J 10 8 3 ™ 7 6 2
t 4 t A J 6 5 2
® J 10 9 8 2 ® 7
´ 10 6 5 4
™ A K 4
® A K 6 5 4
CONTEMPORARY TAKE ON
The quiz was set by J C H (Jack) Marx who also
wrote the commentary, originally published in the
December 1946 edition of Contract Bridge Journal
(available on the EBU website). Marx was widely
regarded as the academic brain behind Acol and, in
conjunction with the twins Bob and Jim Sharples,
developed a version of the system that influenced a
generation of British players. He was also the
original developer in this country of the 2®
response to 1NT asking for a four-card major,
though Ewart Kempson had earlier suggested
something on similar lines: George Rapee came up
with the same idea in the USA and it was publicised
there by one of his team mates. Although it would
be more logical to refer to the convention as
'Kempson-Marx-Rapee', Sam Stayman's name will
forever be attached to it.
Marx was a prominent tournament player before
the War and part of the Acol team that won