By Val Rhead
Bridge is a game of continuous learning. Often you can learn better ways of bidding, by analyzing the results of your bidding sequences and searching for alternative ways when they have not worked out for you. You can do this either by reading books and articles about the game or by playing with different partners.
Several weeks ago we looked at responses to a Strong Two Club opening. There are three: 1) Bust 2) Waiting and 3) Positive. Recently, I had such an opening Two Club bid to which partner replied correctly with a Two Hearts Bust. He was telling me that he did not have at least an Ace, or a King or two Queens. How discouraging! Although my hand had lots of points, I did not have a good suit. I rebid Two No Trump, and according to our agreement at the time, he passed. It didn’t go well.
Traditionally, as in this case, if Opener’s rebid is Two No Trump after Two Hearts Bust by responder, the Two No Trump bid is a shutout and is where Opener wishes to play. Now what if the Responder has five Spades and zero points? We know from all the One No Trump hands we have played how hard it is to make a One No Trump contract with a worthless dummy. It’s even harder at the two level! There is no transportation available to get over to dummy to make finesses. But, we know that if the dummy has a five-card suit, even with no points, it is easier to play in that suit than to play No Trump. Therefore, in this case, the Responder should now make a transfer bid and the partner with the strong opening hand will play the hand in that suit with at least a seven-card fit.
My partner and I should have had the following system in place to handle this situation. I had a very strong hand and opened Two Clubs. After his artificial Two Hearts Bust bid and my Two No Trump rebid, he would either pass, or if he has a five-card or longer major suit (or a six-card minor suit), he would make a transfer bid. That is, he would bid the suit below his long suit. For example, after my Two No Trump rebid, if his suit was Spades, he would bid Three Hearts. Because Responder’s first response had been Two Hearts Bust, I would realize he was very weak. Then I could have established the contract by completing the transfer at part-score in his suit, or game in his suit if I was strong enough. The transfer would have worked beautifully in this situation. My partner had one point, but he had a six-card Spade suit. A part-score or game in Spades would have fared much better.
Remember though that when you use a certain convention there are plusses and minuses. The minus in this situation is that if the Strong Two Club Opener’s suit is Hearts, because the Responder already has bid Hearts to describe his weak hand, the strong hand will be on the table as dummy. Unfortunately, nothing’s perfect, but this transfer bid is useful and it’s interesting that the transfer bid can be applied in many different kinds of No Trump bidding.
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’S OWN BRUCE ELLIOTT IS LISTED AS TWENTY-FIRST ALL-TIME ACCOMPLISHED CANADIAN BRIDGE PLAYER.
A great honour has been bestowed on our own Bruce Elliott (Two T’s and Two L’s – “Give them Hell Elliott” he once told me). The Kibitzer (Winter, 2017 Page 22), our Canadian Bridge Magazine, listed the top all-time Canadian Bridge Players whose accomplishments at National and Inter-National events were win, place or show.
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Games at the Huntsville Club are Tuesday 7:15 start, Trinity United Church 33 Main Street. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For partners and information call Jan Roberts 705 635-2522 or email [email protected]
REMINDER: Our Christmas Party is Dec 12 at Main Street Local Kitchen (across the street from Trinity United). The game follows at our regular venue, Trinity United, at 7:15pm.
The following winners are for Tuesday, Dec 5 with 9 pairs playing a Howell movement. 1. Jim Smith and Ralph Mitchell; 2. Susan Marshall and Jan Roberts; 3. Vern Foell and Rod Dixon; 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 15 minutes before game time. For information or partnerships, call Brian at 705-645-5340 [email protected]
REMINDER: The game is cancelled Dec 25 and Jan 1 and resumes Jan 8.
The following winners are from Monday, Dec 4 with 19 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 2. Jinty Stewart and Jane Insley; 3. Gail Lederer and Mary Mitchell; 4. Fay MacDonald and Yvonne Cox; 5. Betty Rintoul and Hazel Bowes; East-West 1. Barb Forth and Vern Foell; 2. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 3. Kathy Kent and David Kent; 4. Kel Andresen and Jim Smith; 5. Art Insley and Don Evans
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