By Peter Rhead
Unusual over unusual
It is very satisfying to be able to use an opponent’s bid for your own partnership competition. Such is the case this week for partner’s major suit opening . Your partner opens One Heart. The nuisance opponent immediately interferes with his own Unusual 2NT bid, taking away a whole level of your partnership’s bidding.
What are your options to reply to your partner’s One Heart opening with your limited bidding space? You can take advantage of your opponent’s bid! His Unusual 2NT has told you that he is 5-5 in the minors with a competitive hand. You can now take advantage of this information for your partnership.
You can freely cue bid Three Clubs or Three Diamonds. Partner knows that you do not want to play that suit when the opponent has shown 5-5 in the minors. Therefore, you can make use of the enemy suits as cue bids. Your cue bids would have an agreed meaning to your partner. There are various responses that you and your partner can work out. What follows is an example of agreed possible responses to the One Heart opening followed by Unusual 2NT interference.
Three Clubs: means Hearts – Limit raise in Hearts with Four Hearts and 10-12 points
Three Diamonds: means Spades – At least five Spades and 10-12 points
Three Hearts: means Hearts – A normal three-card raise and 6-9 points
Three Spades: means Spades – A good six-card Spade suit and 6-9 points
What follows is an example of possible responses to a One Spade opening followed by Unusual 2NT interference.
Three Clubs: means Hearts – At least five Hearts and 10-12 points
Three Diamonds: means Spades – Limit raise in Spades with four cards, 10-12 points
Three Hearts: means Hearts – A good six-card Heart suit and 6-9 points
Three Spades: means Spades – A normal three-card raise and 6-9 points
Choose a sequence of responses that you and your partner can remember. The sequence above can be remembered as follows: Clubs and Hearts are always Hearts. Diamonds and Spades are always Spades. The cue bid is always the stronger hand (10-12 points) as the cue bid gives your partner the most remaining bidding space to get to the best contract. You do not have to alert the cue bids but either opponent may ask the meaning at his turn to bid.
For more information, read “Unusual Over Unusual” in Barbara Seagram’s 25 More Bridge Conventions You Should Know, page 173.
Next Week: Examples of Unusual Over Unusual
Remember, as we all fight COVID-19 with social isolation, if you want your Bridge fix, online competition is available for all skill levels. From the ACBL Bridge website, you can hook up either to play live people or to play robots. Either way you test or consolidate various Bridge skills. At ACBL.org just click on “Play Bridge” and follow the prompts for various choices.
If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to email@example.com and I will try to include it in this column.
Looking for more bridge tips? You’ll find them here.
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