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20 English Bridge October 2019 www.ebu.co.uk

Coping with Interference - Part 5

Traps for the unwary by Michael Byrne

by Michael Byrne

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L

ast issue we looked at how to cope when

partner's opening bid was doubled for takeout by

your right hand opponent, and the

various bids you could make.

One bid which we discussed was the use of 2NT

over a double as a good raise, suggesting a hand that

we would have raised to the 3-level or better in

partner's suit. This was to distinguish it from

weaker hands that wanted to pre-empt the

opponents by jumping in partner's suit.

While this bid is a straightforward part of

standard Acol, it does seem to go unused a lot of the

time and many players seem to have forgotten what

to do once the bid is made. Let's start by reminding

ourselves exactly what it is:

After partner's one of a suit opening is doubled

for take-out, a jump to 2NT says 'Partner I have a

hand that would have raised you to the 3-level to

invite game (or better) if there was no intervening

double'.

It is (significantly) more common in major suits

which is why our examples today will deal with

majors, but it can be used when partner has opened

a minor suit as well. Sitting East, an average run-of-

the-mill hand would be something like this:

rare. The double of 1´ makes it much more likely

that it is a game or part-score question, rather than

a game or slam question.

So, 2NT is bid (and alerted just in case the

opponents are unsure). What happens now? The

answer is partner decides what they would have

done facing a traditional four card invitational

raise, and bids accordingly:

D If partner has a hand that would always pass a

limit raise he signs off in 3™/´. This suggests a

minimum (or sub-minimum) opening bid, often

something like a 5·4·2·2 11-count, or perhaps a

5·3·3·2 hand that they felt couldn't be opened

1NT.

D If partner has a hand that is unsure whether it

would have raised a limit bid to game, or might

have been borderline, then they can bid another

suit (lower ranking than their own suit) as a game

try. Ostensibly this is a long suit game try, and asks

you to bid to game if you are better than

minimum, or if you have an unexpectedly good

holding in the game try suit.

D If partner has a hand which would always bid

game over a limit raise then jump to game. The

2NT bidder is expected to pass although,

knowing the opener has a little extra you can look

for a slam if you have a much stronger hand

(rare).

DIf partner has enough that they are thinking

about a slam facing a limit raise then they can

jump as a splinter bid (again, the splinter suit

must be lower ranking than the agreed suit,

otherwise you have run out of bidding room) or

try 4NT. It is also possible to temporise with a

new suit as a game try and then surprise you later

if you accept.

Let's see a few of these sequences in action:

But you might also have these hands:

´ Q 10 7 6

™ K 3

t A J 5 2

® 6 4 3

Dealer West.

W N E S

1´ Dble 2NTA

´ A K 5 4 ´ A J 10 4 3 ´ K 9 7 6 3 2

™ 9 5 ™ 5 ™ A 3

t Q J 9 5 4 t A K J 3 t A Q 4

® K J ® Q 5 4 ® Q 2

where game will not only be invited it will also be

bid (and possibly more), though in practice all are

Have you got it? Try Michael's quiz on

page 69 when you've finished the article

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