Page 0017

www.ebu.co.uk 17

February 2020 English Bridge

Hand 3 should bid 4™, not necessarily to make it

but just to up the ante. The trouble with a slower

route of bidding 3™, and then wondering

whether 4™ will be a good save against 3´, is that

you make life too easy for the opponents. By

bidding 4™ you offer them the choice between

playing 4´ or passing out 4™, as they won't be

able to double with any confidence when your

trumps are so strong. If they do bid 4´ then

partner will be well placed to know what to do -

most of the time he will pass and try to beat it, but

if he is also very shapely he might bid on to 5™,

either as a sacrifice or with the option of making.

He will only double 4´ if he has it beaten in his

own hand, as our raise is pre-emptive and

promises nothing in defence.

Hand 4 is the odd one out. This hand should pass

2´, not because of the bad trumps or poor shape

(although both of those are a factor) but because

it has huge defensive prospects and no playing

strength at all.

Although raising to 3™ will sometimes be right, it

will just lead partner into a trap. For starters your

spade holding can't possibly be of any use when

partner is marked with shortage. (Occasionally

Acol players might have a 4-3 spade fit for this

sequence when the opener has a strong no trump

type hand, but this is pretty rare in a competitive

auction).

Even if the opponents help you by leading a spade

from an honour the defender in 3rd seat will

probably win and will be well placed to switch to

a club. Your hand lacks entries to try and ruff

anything out even if the hand on lead has led

from Kxx for example.

The biggest danger on this hand (by far) is that

partner will over-compete, thinking that (for

some reason) you actually want hearts as trumps.

If the next hand bids 3´ you will be glowing with

pride at having pushed them up, until you see

with horror partner reach into the bidding box

and bid even more hearts.

The best thing to do on this hand is pass, and if

2´ comes round to your partner he can double

for take out if he does hold a fair hand with (the

expected) spade shortage. Then, when you take

out into 3™, if the opponents bid on to 3´

partner will not expect you to have anything and

will know to defend.

Imagine partner's hand might be similar to one of

these:

´ 2 ´ 8 ´ -

™ A K J 9 7 ™ A Q 10 7 3 2 ™ K J 9 7 6 5

t Q 9 3 t 8 7 6 t A Q 2

® K J 9 6 ® A K J ® K 9 4 2

then he will compete further over 2´ and all will be

well. But, if he has something like this:

´ K ´ K 3

™ Q 10 8 6 5 4 ™ K Q 10 8 4 2

t Q 10 2 t Q 2

® A Q J ® K 5 3

Then he will pass out 2´ and that will very much

prove to be your best score.

The Dos and Don'ts of raising partner in

competition

Do support partner as your default action, it is a

normal part of duplicate bridge to compete

vigorously and not sit there paralysed by the

fear you will go down.

Do trust partner to make the right judgement

once you have given him the right

information about your hand, if he

doubles for penalties after you have made

a pre-emptive raise then pass.

Don't raise partner when your hand is entirely

composed of defensive assets. If you can

see it is wrong for your side to play the

hand then leave the competition up to

partner.

Don't overcall at the two level on balanced

hands! A six card suit or, (if your suit is

hearts) a shapely hand with five and good

playing strength is required, since partner

will be raising you more often.

Have you got it? Try Michael's quiz online,

page 69 when you've finished the article

Index

  1. Page 0001
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0007
  8. Page 0008
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Page 0015
  16. Page 0016
  17. Page 0017
  18. Page 0018
  19. Page 0019
  20. Page 0020
  21. Page 0021
  22. Page 0022
  23. Page 0023
  24. Page 0024
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Page 0031
  32. Page 0032
  33. Page 0033
  34. Page 0034
  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
  37. Page 0037
  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0040
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
  43. Page 0043
  44. Page 0044
  45. Page 0045
  46. Page 0046
  47. Page 0047
  48. Page 0048
  49. Page 0049
  50. Page 0050
  51. Page 0051
  52. Page 0052
  53. Page 0053
  54. Page 0054
  55. Page 0055
  56. Page 0056
  57. Page 0057
  58. Page 0058
  59. Page 0059
  60. Page 0060
  61. Page 0061
  62. Page 0062
  63. Page 0063
  64. Page 0064
  65. Page 0065
  66. Page 0066
  67. Page 0067
  68. Page 0068
  69. Page 0069
  70. Page 0070