By Peter Rhead
Examples of quantitative 4NT response to partner’s 2NT opening
In the past weeks, we have examined your responses when partner opens Two No-Trump. He is showing a balanced or semi-balanced hand of 20-21 high- card points. If you as responder have four points, you know your partnership might go for a possible game (21+4=25). With less than four points, you just PASS.
Today, you have examples of when you might consider a slam. You investigate the possibility with the Quantitative 4NT response to partner’s 2NT opening. This 4NT bid tells opening 2NT partner to go to slam if he has 21 points. You sit there with these five responding hands. Each hand has slam-going possibilities. When and how should you bid the Quantitative 4NT?
Case 1: You first respond Stayman, Three Clubs, with your 14 points. This is straight forward for probable slam (20+14=34). If opening 2NT partner bids Three Hearts or Three Spades, you take the contract directly to six of his suit. If opening 2NT partner bids Three Diamonds denying a four-card major, you just bid 6NT for the probable slam.
Case 2: You do not bid Stayman because you have no trumping capability. This time you respond 4NT directly. You know opening 2NT partner has 20-21 points and you have a balanced 12 points. You want to be in slam if opening 2NT partner has the 21 points (21+12=33). So you ask him using the 4NT bid. “Partner, if you have 21 points, bid the 6NT slam. Otherwise PASS and play 4NT for the game.”
Case 3: You know you have enough points to bid slam if opening 2NT partner has 21 points (21+12=33). But first you respond Stayman, Three Clubs, looking for the eight-card major magic fit in Spades. Opening 2NT partner then will bid either Three Diamonds denying a four-card major or he will bid one of the majors (Three Hearts or Three Spades). If he bids Three Diamonds or Three Hearts, you bid 4NT telling him to go to 6NT if he has 21 points. If he bids Three Spades, you just bid Six Spades.
Case 4: You know you have enough points to bid slam if partner has 21 points (21+12=33). But first you respond Transfer to Hearts, Three Diamonds, looking for the eight-card major magic fit. Opening 2NT partner then will bid Three Hearts. Now you bid Quantitative 4NT telling partner that not only do you have five Hearts but also enough points for slam if partner opened 2NT with 21 points. Opening 2NT partner now has his choice of PASS (and play 4NT for game) or 6NT or Six Hearts.
Case 5: You know you have enough points to bid slam if partner has 21 points (21+12=33). You do not respond Stayman because you have no ruffing ability. You respond Quantitative 4NT telling opening 2NT partner to bid 6NT if he has 21 points. Otherwise he is to PASS and he will play the contract at 4NT for the game score.
Next Week: What options do you have when partner responds 1NT to your suit 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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