Page 0030

30 English Bridge February 2020 www.ebu.co.uk

L

ast time we considered the two level and four

level responses to 1NT. This time we look at

the three level responses. Traditionally these

bids were single-suited slam tries, but this meaning

is less important with a transfer system. Most

experts use them instead to reveal singletons, in

order to decide whether to play in 3NT, or to seek a

fit elsewhere, usually five of a minor.

Before moving on it is worth pausing to consider

why singletons are so important. Some people

devise methods to cater for weak doubletons, but

there are two important problems with such

methods.

DIf you have a weak doubleton that causes 3NT to

fail, often five of the minor will not make either.

DThe very act of describing the weak doubletons

mean that defenders will defend better and beat

your contracts more often no matter how

accurate your bidding.

However, when you have a singleton you are that

much more likely to make an alternative contract,

and the usefulness for defence is typically less, not

least because if you are weak in that suit they are

likely to lead it. (The same applies with voids. For

simplicity we shall talk about singletons, but it will

always be the case that the bid may be a void instead

of a singleton.) So, after partner opens 1NT:

2´ Transfer to clubs. Opener bids 2NT without a

fit, and 3® with a fit (we treat this as being

K32 or better, or a decent hand with Q32).

Then:

3t Singleton, may have a four card major

3™ Singleton, may have four spades

3´ Singleton, denies four hearts or four

diamonds

3NT To play

4® Six clubs, slam try without a shortage

4t RKCB for clubs

4NT Natural, invitational to slam, five clubs

Weak No Trump System - Responses 2

AAccooll UUnnvveeiilleedd by Chris Jagger

click

link

Once a singleton has been shown, opener should

bid higher four card majors, and cannot pass a non

game bid, though responder can pass four of a

minor. This last part is an important part of

shortage systems, that if you decide you cannot

make 3NT, you don't force to game in a minor.

Responder knows what strength they have, so is

allowed to pass four of a minor, while opener can

never pass four of a minor as responder is

unlimited. Thus:

´ A 6 4 2 ´ K 7 3

™ K J 9 2 ™ 6

t J 3 t Q 8 2

® K 6 5 ® A Q 10 7 4 2

N

W E

S

W N E S

1NT Pass 2´ Pass

3® Pass 3™ Pass

3´ Pass 3NT All Pass

Responder transfers to clubs and bids 3™ to show

his singleton. Opener is happy in 3NT, but first bids

3´ to show the spade suit. Responder doesn't have

spades so bids 3NT, allowing opener to pass if this

is right opposite a singleton. Opener passes happily

and the best game is reached.

Had opener had the red suits the other way

round, he would have pulled 3NT to a making 5®

contract, or possibly just 4® (which responder

would pass). Either way, this is likely to be better

than having at least six tricks cashed against 3NT.

Similarly, when partner opens 1NT, then:

2NT Transfer to diamonds. The bidding over this

works in the same way, with opener bidding

3® without a fit.

You will note that the difficult hands to show are

hands with both minors, hands with long

diamonds and a singleton club (since after the

transfer there is no bid below 3NT to show the

singleton club), and hands with one spade and four

Index

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