Page 0022

IAN JOHNS writes by email: Having recently

received and twice read the April 2015 issue I

again have been entertained and stimulated. In

particular I note three auctions featuring third

suit forcing - two from the Gold Cup final and

one from the Camrose. It seems a very

interesting idea, and a method employed by the

two Davids (Bakhshi and Gold) and other inter nationals

is high endorsement. Any chance of

an article about it in English Bridge?

SUPPOSE partner opens 1®, you respond 1´ and

partner rebids 2®. What do you bid on the follow ing

hands?

Hand (a) Hand (b) Hand (c)

´ K Q 10 7 5 ´ K Q 10 7 5 ´ A 10 9 7 5

™ K 8 5 4 2 ™ A K 7 5 ™ A K 7

t 2 t 6 2 t A 4

® 8 5 ® A 3 ® Q 6 5

Playing Acol in its original form 'the more you bid,

the more you've got', so you bid:

(a) 2™, non-forcing with both majors. You get to

play in 2™ opposite, say:

´ J ™ A 7 6 t K 9 7 5 ® A Q 9 7 4

which is definitely best.

(b) 3™, natural and forcing with both majors. This

is fine if partner raises hearts but it leaves little

room to investigate if the right contract is 3NT

(opposite ´ J 2 ™ 6 t K J 9 5 ® K Q J 10 9 6)

or a slam (imagine:

´ A 2 ™ 8 6 t K 7 5 ® K Q 10 9 7 6)

- but partner will bid 3NT on both these hands

over 3™.

(c) You have no good bid other than 3NT and

hope for the best, knowing this could be a silly

contract (opposite:

´ K 3 ™ Q 3 t 7 6 ® A J 10 9 8 7 4

7® needs much the same as 3NT). In fact, the

'correct' Acol response to 1® fifty years ago

would have been a strong jump shift of 2´; this

leads to the same problem of not knowing the

right strain or level.

The advantage of being able to bid 2™ non-forcing

is that you can deal happily with Hand (a). The

disadvantage is that stronger hands are much harder

to bid. As a consequence, the modern trend is to

play the 2™ bid here as forcing. You have to pass 2®

on Hand (a) and hope for the best (partner often

has six clubs) but on Hands (b) and (c) you bid 2™

safe in the knowledge that partner won't pass. This

is called 'Third Suit Forcing'. While is it ostensibly

natural (you bid your better red suit in this auction)

it does not promise a four-card suit.

As opener, you still bid naturally (although you

mustn't pass). 2´, 2NT and 3® are not forcing.

With a strong hand unsure of what to bid, you bid

3t which is still fourth suit forcing. There is one good

agreement to have, however, and that is to play that

the raise to 3™ is forcing. It's possible that you will

get too high if responder has a 5-4-3-1 11-count,

but as responder might not have four hearts, opener

cannot afford to jump to 4™ with four of them.

As responder, once you have bid 'third suit

forcing' and hear a minimum non-forcing rebid

from opener, you have two options: either pass

opener's bid or make another bid which is now

game forcing:

´ A 3 ´ K Q J 7 5

™ K 4 2 ™ A Q 6

t J 4 t 7 2

® A 10 9 8 6 4 ® Q J 3

West East

1® 1´

2® 2™1

2´2 3®3

3´4 4´

22 English Bridge August 2015 www.ebu.co.uk

Third Suit Forcing by Frances Hinden

Your Questions Answered

Your Questions Answered

click

link

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Index

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