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ONLINE EXTRA August 2013 English Bridge

Online Extra 61

4: 2t. This is a game-going hand and you

can easily show it by bidding 2t (inverted

minor raise) first before introducing your

next longest suit (spades) to describe the

shape of the hand more accurately than by

responding 1´ - as I suspect most of you

do at the moment.

5: 3®. Remember 1t - 2® is forcing to

game, so you would need an opening hand

to do so. I recommend using 1t - 3® not

as weak but as invitational (at least six

clubs, approx. 10-12 HCP) for exactly this

reason.

6: 3NT. Partner has shown invitational

values facing a weak no-trump. Having

already shown a weak no-trump with at

least four clubs via your 2NT bid, you can

now accept the game invitation with your

maximum 14 HCP and bid on to 3NT.

7: 2™. An unassuming cue-bid, showing at

least four diamonds and at least 10 HCP.

Opening One of a Major

Well, well, well - it has taken me till halfway

through my fourth article to get on to

this vital topic! This month and in the next

issue we will be looking at some of the

techniques associated with the scheme.

Advantages

By opening 1™/1´ with five cards, partner

can judge much better on several levels:

i) Partner can use the 'Level of the Fit'

principle to be guided as to how far

to raise when responding (see later,

bot tom of the page).

ii) Partner can judge better how far to

compete in contested auctions.

iii) Making simple raises immediately

is much easier than in Acol where

you have to bid another suit first.

Ambiguity often then arises as to

whether the responder actually

holds real support or is just grudg ingly

giving preference at his second

turn to bid.

iv) Playing a system which is used

globally allows you to play with (or

at least understand more) all sorts

of partners and opponents at home,

abroad, or even online!

Disadvantages

i) Lack of familiarity - trust me, it is

well worth the effort!

ii) The need to play 'prepared minors'

or 'short club'.

Before we go on, I wish to dispel one

widely held myth as totally false . . .

'If I open 1®, I deny holding a five-card

major.'

No, you don't! If you were to hold a

hand with six clubs and a five-card major,

you should still open your longest suit first

- rather than warping the hand by open ing

your five-card major. (Rant over . . .)

Requirements

Just a normal hand with at least five cards

in the major opened. Normal guidelines

should help you here (Rule of Twenty, or

whatever other judgement guide you

already use). One early point to mention is

that holding a five-card major but in the

range for a strong no-trump (15-17, re member),

I think you are much better off

long term by opening 1NT and not the

major. This is against classical Acol think ing,

I know - but it certainly is a winning

proposition. Consider these hands:

Hand 1 Hand 2

´ A Q 9 7 6 ´ A Q 9 7 6

™ 8 5 ™ 8 5

t K 4 3 t K 4 3

® Q 6 5 ® K 5 3

Hand 3

´ A Q 9 7 6

™ A 7

t K 4 3

® K 5 2

Hand 1: I recommend passing (except in

third seat, where opening would be fairly

normal).

Hand 2 is a normal 1´ opening in any

seat.

Hand 3 is a choice of opening 1´ or

1NT. As mentioned, I definitely prefer 1NT.

Raising the Major to the Two Level

This is usually done with three trumps (or

occasionally four with a poor/stodgy hand).

Care should be taken since rather than

requiring 6-9 HCP, in practice the raise to

two is much more likely to be based on

5-10 HCP.

Because the length of the suit opened

(five) is known, it makes life as responder

much easier when you have a fit. For

example, if partner opens 1™, you should

raise to 2™ with each of the following

hands:

Hand A Hand B

´ 7 6 2 ´ A J 9 6

™ K 8 5 ™ K 8 5

t Q 8 7 6 3 t 9 4 3

® J 9 ® 6 5 3

Hand C

´ Q 5

™ A 7 6

t K J 4 3

® 7 5 4 2

Hand A: normal and uncontro versial.

Hand B: no need to introduce spades as

you would do in Acol, since an eight-card

fit is known (usually only bother with five

spades). If partner makes a further bid, he

can always introduce a four-card spade

suit should he have one, so the spade fit

will come to light if game is possible.

Hand C: note that a balanced 10-count

with three trumps should normally only

raise to the two level. This is very impor tant:

holding a 10-count with either a fivecard

side-suit or a singleton would make

the hand too good for a simple raise to the

two level.

Raising the Major to the Three Level

There are various approaches here. I favour

using the 'Level of the Fit' principle (you

bid to make as many tricks as you have

trumps between the two hands) to allow

you nearly always to bid to the three level

(= nine tricks) when the partnership has a

combined nine trumps, and often bid

straight to the four level (= ten tricks) when

ten trumps (or more!) are held.

Standard methods would involve using

limit bids as per Acol with either three- or

four-card support.

For example:

(turn to the next page)

Index

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