By Val Rhead
BIG HANDS PART TWO – GO SLOWLY WHEN BIDDING SLAMS
Sometimes I think that the game of Bridge is a little like a Math class. If you are the opening bidder and bid One Spade with twelve points, and your partner replies with a bid of Two Spades which shows six to nine points. Let’s see: Twelve plus 6 equals 18, 12 plus 9 equals 21 points. Game is not there. You now Pass.
If your hands are stronger, bidding gets more interesting. You have twenty-two points and you open the strong Two Clubs. Partner gazes down at her hand. Wow, twelve points and she knows you have at least twenty-two! Twenty-two plus 12 equals at least 34. Slam territory. Now partner must reduce her pulse and go slowly.
I recently had a partner who was in this situation. I bid One Spade. “Four Spades,” she exclaimed with a big smile on her face. As she lay the hand down, she asked “Did I bid it right, did I bid it right?”
I returned the smile, saying something like “Well, you certainly made sure that we didn’t miss a game.” We made six tricks. What her bidding had told me was that she had lots of Spades but not many points. So I couldn’t know that we had a possible slam hand.
If the responder has absolutely no points herself, that is no Ace, no King or not even two Queens (don’t even consider Jacks), she bids an artificial Two Hearts to show a “Bust” hand. This says nothing at all about Hearts. Using this method, the responder will not bid again. The opener will bid the contract she thinks she can make without her partner’s help, and the responder passes.
After your strong Two-Club opening, one of the problems that arises from not using the “Two Hearts Bust” convention is that the partnership doesn’t have enough points for a game and gets doubled and incurs a hefty penalty. Another scenario is that responder feels desperate because she has absolutely nothing in her hand and passes, even though opener has made a forcing bid. You, the opener, may have thirty points and a game in your own hand. This may have been the only decent hand, you’ve had all day. You will be very, very unhappy if responder passes.
If responder does not have a “Bust” hand but has some values, she may choose to make the artificial bid of Two Diamonds. This says nothing about Diamonds. It is simply a bid that is forcing to the game level and asks opener to describe her hand further. If responder has a five card suit and at least eight points, she will not bid the artificial Two Diamond bid, but will bid her best suit. This is known as a positive bid. She will bid this suit without a jump. (If her suit is Hearts, and she is playing that Two Hearts is a “Bust,” she bids Two No Trump to show Hearts. A jump is not necessary because the opener is committed to going to at least game with her partner’s positive bid. The opener answers, either supporting partner’s suit or bidding a new suit of her own. When a suit is agreed upon, one of the partners can begin a cue-bid sequence to ask for controls. We’ll talk more about cue-bidding in a future column.
At this point, they may settle for game or bid Four No-Trump to ask for Aces. This is the Blackwood Convention which is used when bidding a slam in a suit. Partner will respond Five Clubs with zero or four Aces, Five Diamonds with one Ace, Five Hearts with two Aces, or Five Spades with three Aces. Only bid Five No-Trump to ask for Kings if you have all the Aces.
Good luck in making your slam.
If you wish to promote an activity in your bridge group or ask a bridge question, send the information to [email protected] and I will try to include it in this column.
CFUW MUSKOKA BRIDGE FOR BURSARIES FUNDRAISER
SPRING LUNCH AND BRIDGE/CARD/GAMES PARTY, ALL WELCOME
12 NOON FOR LUNCH Friday, April 12, 2019 $25 per person
South Muskoka Curling and Golf Club, 10 Golf Course Road, Bracebridge
A great opportunity for all to enjoy companionship and to support young women in Muskoka for college or university. Arrange your foursome and bring supplies for your table of four. To register, please provide four names to: Mary [email protected] or Carol Wilson 705-646-2567
NEW SOCIAL BRIDGE GAME IN HUNTSVILLE
Games are at the Active Living Centre on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the multi-purpose room on the second floor (elevator) at the back entrance of the Canada Summit Centre. Just come – with or without a partner.
For information, please contact Donna or Peter Tikuisis at 647 471 1774 or [email protected].
For now, this game will be played following Chicago Rules (allowing both fast and slow games). You will keep your same partner for the entire evening. Cost is $1.50 per person. Parking is outside the North Entrance opposite Heritage Village Railway Station.
PORT CARLING SOCIAL BRIDGE CLUB
Games for the Port Carling Social Bridge Club are Monday afternoon 1pm at the Port Carling Community Centre, 3 Bailey Street. Please arrive with your partner at least 10 minutes before game time.
For information, contact Andree or Scott 705-764-3827 [email protected]
Monday, March 18, 2019 Winners: 1. Gary Irving & Scott Staples, 4,130 points; 2. Louise Kirbyson & Joan Frost, 3,770 points; 3. Els Vandenberg & Peter Rhead, 3, 080 points.
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Games at the Huntsville Club are Tuesday afternoon 1pm, Trinity United Church 33 Main Street (side door, three steps up in the Hearth Room). Please arrive with your partner at least 10 minutes early. For information and partnerships call Liz Graham (705)789-7187 or email at [email protected]
The following winners are for Tuesday, Mar 19, 2019 with 8 pairs playing a Howell movement. 1. Helen Pearson and Jim Smith; 2. Beryl Clayson and Paul Clayson; 3/4. Mary Simonett and Kel Andresen; 3/4. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst
MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)
Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road. Please arrive with your partner 10 minutes before game time.
The following winners are from Monday, Mar 18, 2019 with 11 pairs playing a Howell movement. 1. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 2. Joanne Garvey and Val Rhead; 3/4. Gail Lederer and Don Evans; 3/4. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh; 5. Carol Anne Robinson and Nancy Barber; 6. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst
Looking for more bridge tips? You’ll find them here.
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