By Peter Rhead
Examples of quantitative 4NT response to partner’s 1NT opening
When partner opens One No-Trump, he is showing a balanced hand of 15-17 high-card points (HCP). If you as responder have 16 points and a balanced hand, you know your partnership should go for a 6NT slam if opener has 17 points (17+16=33). You want to find out whether partner is at his maximum (17 points).
As we discussed last week, the way for you to show Quantitative is to jump to 4NT. Opening partner will know to go to 6NT if he has 17 points. Otherwise he will pass and play the game contract of 4NT.
Today, you have examples of when you might consider a Quantitative jump response to 4NT. You sit there with these five responding hands. What should you bid?
Case 1: You respond Four No-Trump with your 16 points. This is straight forward. Opening 1NT partner will take the contract to 6NT if he has 17 points.
Case 2: This time you respond 6NT directly. You know opening 1NT partner has at least 15 points and you have a balanced 18 points. You want to be in slam (15+18=33). You do not risk 4NT Quantitative because opening partner might PASS.
Case 3: This is a tough hand. If opening 1NT partner has 17 points, you know you have enough points to bid slam (17+16=33). But you first respond Stayman Two Clubs looking for the eight-card major magic fit. Opening 1NT partner then will bid either Two Diamonds denying a four-card major or he will bid one of the majors (Two Hearts or Two Spades). If he bids Two Diamonds, you bid 4NT Quantitative. If he bids Two Hearts of Two Spades, you might just bid six of his major on a bit of a gamble. You would like to be in slam and you do have the magic eight-card fit. Or more safely, you could bid 4NT Quantitative asking opening 1NT partner to bid 6NT if he has 17 points. Then if opening 1NT partner does not have 17 points, your partnership will play the contract in 4NT.
Case 4: You have 16 points. Your partnership is going to slam if opening 1NT partner has 17 points (17+16=33). You first bid Two Diamonds as a Transfer to show your Hearts. After opening 1NT partner completes the Transfer with a bid of Two Hearts, you bid the Quantitative Four No-Trump to show that with your five Hearts you have a slam-going hand if opener has 17 points. With 17 points, opening 1NT partner can bid 6NT or he can correct to Six Hearts if he prefers Hearts. Otherwise the partnership plays for game at 4NT or Five Hearts.
Case 5: You are responding with 18 points to opening 1NT partner. Therefore, you know you want to be in slam (15+18=33). DO NOT respond Stayman Two Clubs as you have no ruffing capability with this balanced hand. You should jump immediately to 6NT. You do not risk bidding Quantitative 4NT because opening partner might PASS and you miss your slam.
Next Week: Your five common responses to partner’s Two No-Trump Opening
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.
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