By Valerie Rhead
OPENING THE MINORS WITH SHORT SUITS
Most people in North America play five-card majors. This is fine when you have five or more hearts or spades and opening points. But, if you have opening points and no five‑card major, and it’s not a No‑Trump hand, you will open a minor. Some partnership agreement is necessary.
One option is the “Better‑Minor.” If a hand 4‑4‑3‑2 represents 4 spades, 4 hearts, 3 diamonds, and 2 clubs, the “Better‑Minor” opening of one diamond may be bid with less than four diamonds.
A second option is the “Short Club” convention. The 4‑4‑3‑2 or similar hand would be opened one club with partner announcing “may be as short as two.” Under this convention, an opening of one diamond would guarantee at least four diamonds. Sometimes this is nice to know. Therefore, this “Short Club” opener implies no five-card major and possibly only two clubs! Of course, you also could have something like opening points and a solid six-card club suit with the same bid!
With the 4-4-3-2 or similar distribution, if you open one club and your partner responds one diamond, to show a minimum hand (12-14 points) you may now rebid partner’s diamonds or bid a four‑card major at the one level. If you have no four-card major nor diamond support, you may also show the minimum hand by bidding one No‑Trump unless the opponents bid – then just “Pass” to show your minimum hand. Your pass has limited your hand, showing your partner that you have a minimum opening hand and nothing more to say. Partner still has another chance to bid.
With a medium hand (15-17) and 4-4-3-2 or similar distribution you may now keep the bidding open by jumping in partner’s suit or by jump-bidding to two No‑Trump inviting game. You also may bid a four-card major at the two level as your second suit. You may bid a second suit at the two level only with a medium hand or better.
With a maximum hand (18-21), jump-bid three No‑Trump or game in partner’s suit. You may also do a forcing strong jump-shift in a new suit. With interference from your opponent, you have to take into account the opponent’s suit and plan accordingly. With a good stopper in opponent’s suit, and maximum in your hand, you may jump to three No‑Trump ending up in game or invite to game by jumping in partner’s suit at the three level.
If you wish to promote an activity in your bridge group, send the information to [email protected] and I will include it in this column.
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Games for the Huntsville Club are now Tuesday afternoon 1PM for the winter Jan‑Feb‑Mar, Trinity United Church 33 Main Street. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. Call Betty 705-789-2560 [email protected] or Susan at 705-789-7156 [email protected] for information and partnerships. For the winter, the game now is held downstairs in the warm basement. To avoid the long stairs, enter from the door on Main Street.
The following results are for Tuesday, Feb 16 with 7 tables playing a Howell movement. 1. Betty Fagin and Rod Dixon; 2. Virginia Warren and Angus Warren; 3. Chris Karn and Vern Foell; 4/5. Mary Simonett and Kel Andresen; 4/5. Jim Smith and Ralph Mitchell; 6. Liz Graham and Sandy Graham; 7. Susan Marshall and Betty Bennett
MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)
Games at the Bracebridge Club are at the Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road 7pm Monday evenings. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time.
The following results are for Monday, Feb 15 with 7 tables playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Pamela Jardine and Ralph Mitchell; 2. Val Rhead and Peter Rhead; 3. Ralph Hair and Gerrry Flaherty; 4. Bev Parlett and Vern Foel; East-West 1. Virginia Warren and Angus Warren; 2. Ruth Thompson and Don Evans; 3. Lorna Wagner and David Bryce; 4. Kel Andresen and Jim Smith
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