By Val Rhead
First seat: PASS, second seat: PASS, you are sitting in third seat. What do you do? You must think very carefully. There are two possibilities and you have no way of knowing at this point which will be the case. Either your side has approximately half the points or the opponent to your left in fourth seat has a monster hand.
As third-seat player, you can open your five card suit with a point or two fewer than normally required. You are able to do this because, as your partner is a passed hand, you are not required to have a rebid. If your opponent on the left has a powerful hand, his bidding becomes more difficult. Your bid will be more effective if you open in a major suit, particularly Spades. With six Hearts or Spades, make a pre-emptive two bid or three bid. Just imagine the fun you will have if your opponent has to open the bidding of his beautiful hand above your Three Spade bid.
The obstructive effect of your bid may make the opponents’ bidding less accurate. If the third-seat suit bid contains supportive honours it will be potentially more valuable than a weak suit. Scattered honours in short suits will be more useful on defense. Perhaps, with scattered honours, the third-seat player should refrain from bidding. Also, consider the vulnerability of course. If you’re not vulnerable, it may be possible to risk a bid with lower values because you can afford to go down two tricks.
As third-suit opener, you have the advantage of suggesting a lead to your partner. If it turns out that your side has half the points, your bidding has a more important effect. If you fail to take action, the opponents may have an opportunity to find their fit and get a better score.
So what do you do? Wherever possible, players should get into the action in third seat. This is true both in the Social game and the Duplicate game. Your action in third seat actually may prevent the opponents from reaching their achievable game contract. Perhaps because your partner has learned the most effective lead against the opponents’ makeable game contract, they will fail. Also, third-seat bidding can interfere with the accuracy of your opponents’ bidding, preventing them from finding their best contract. So always in third seat, after two passes, contemplate possible action. You often will be rewarded!
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.
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Games at the Huntsville Club are Tuesday 1pm start for the Winter Season, Trinity United Church 33 Main Street in the Hearth Room. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For partners and information call Liz Graham (705) 789-7187
The following winners are for Tuesday, Jan 16 with 10 pairs playing a Howell movement. 1. Vern Foell and Rod Dixon; 2. Beryl Clayson and Paul Clayson; 3. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 4. Liz Graham and Dorothy Russell; 5. Carol Anne Robinson and Nancy Barber
MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)
Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For information or partnerships, call Brian at 705-645-5340 [email protected]
The following winners are from Monday, Jan 15 with 14 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh; 2. Mary Mitchell and Susan Maddocks; 3. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 4/5. Betty Rintoul and Hazel Bowes; 4/5. Val Rhead and Joanne Garvey; East-West 1. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 2. Joyce Payne and Malcolm Payne; 3. Barb Forth and Vern Foell; 4. Gail Lederer and Don Evans
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