Page 0022

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

W N E S

1NT Pass 3´A Pass

3NT All Pass

Game All. Dealer West

´ J 7 6 3

™ K Q 7

t J 9 7 6 3

® A

´ A Q 9 ´ -

™ 10 4 3 2 ™ J 8 5

t K 4 2 t A Q 10 8

® Q J 3 ® K 10 7 6 5 4

´ K 10 8 5 4 2

™ A 9 6

t 5

® 9 8 2

N

W E

S

WE ARE DELIGHTED to welcome Chris Jagger to

our team of contributors. Jeffrey Allerton and

Chris won the 2018 Open Trials to represent

England at the European Championships. From

there they qualified for the Bermuda Bowl in

China played in September as this issue went to

press. It is the world's most prestigious bridge

tournament. They were the only pair playing Acol

in the trials . . . and will probably be the only pair

playing Acol in the whole Bermuda Bowl.

In this series Chris will pick apart his system,

giving us insight into the nuances he derives from

the conventions they play, and their measures and

counter-measures to deal with difficult situations.

T

he first thing most new partnerships discuss

is what range of no trump they play. When I

was young, almost everyone played a weak

no trump, showing 12-14 points. In much of the

country this is still true; it is part of Standard

English, and people find it easy to play.

If you come along to the national trials though,

you find a different story. Here, a lot more of the top

players play the strong no trump, so it is natural to

wonder if the weak no trump still stands up to

scrutiny. In my view it definitely does.

ADVANTAGES

Easy to play: Most teachers have realised it is better

to teach newcomers the weak no trump as it is

easier to play. The same should apply for

advanced players. It is commonly said that you

pre-empt opponents to make their life difficult, as

then they are more likely to get things wrong. So

why would you choose to play a harder 1NT

system that makes it more likely your side will get

things wrong? In the long run, no matter how

good you are, if you give yourself easy bidding

problems, you are going to get more of them

right. You will also feel happier about the

decisions and save energy for other aspects of the

game.

The Weak No Trump

AAccooll UUnnvveeiilleedd by Chris Jagger

click

link

Common hand type: Opening 1NT is a great preemptive

manoeuvre which you want to keep for

the most common hand types. Does anyone play

1NT to show a 25-27 point hand? No, it is far too

uncommon. Similarly you are more likely to have

12-14 points than 15-17, so it is better to use 1NT

for this purpose. A deal from the last open trials

perfectly demonstrates this pre-emptive effect:

West opened 1NT. The 3´ bid showed a singleton

or void in the suit and both minors (for a later

issue). We were the only pair in the room making

3NT. The most common result was N/S making 4´

doubled, after auctions started 1®-(Dble).

Makes partner the boss: Once partner knows you

have a balanced hand with 12-14 points, they are

in a great position to decide what contract to play

in. It leaves the opponents with no idea of their

combined strength or shape. They could pass and

miss game, or come in and be hopelessly

outgunned. A frequent upside of the weak no

trump is opponents missing game with balanced

hands, 13 points opposite 12. Using the strong no

trump, the lucky opponents know game is

unlikely, so they focus on simply contesting the

part score.

Index

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