Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Do you like to raise on 3 card support?

I was doing commentary on the fifth of five rounds in the Grand Prix of Poland.  I believe the top 26 pairs get to go forward to the second part of the event in a few months.  They were playing pairs and the boards were not be played simultaneously so we didn’t get the scores.  Anyway the bidding could be strange some times, a case in point with everyone vulnerable you have

clip_image001_thumb K10743
clip_image002_thumb J8642
clip_image003_thumb 1083


In first chair West opened 2clip_image003_thumb which showed an two suits, 5/5 and weak with a least one of them being a major.  This did seem rather hard to defend against.  At our table as it turned out the North-South pair had no problem, somehow.  North who was 1-4-4-4 doubled.  South conveniently bid 2NT and North carried on to the perfect spot the notrump game.  South was 4-3-2-4 and chose to bid notrump anyway.  I guess it is easier when you speak Polish.

I am pretty much in favor of allowing most things in high level matches but playing a convention with a weak hand and no known suits when playing on a few boards against a pair seems a bit tough.

But the hand I wanted to talk about was much simpler and a situation all of us see all the time.  This time you have

clip_image001_thumb AQ7
clip_image002_thumb AQ65
clip_image003_thumb Q9865
clip_image004_thumb J


You are vulnerable against not and in fourth chair you get to open 1clip_image003_thumb.  This is doubled and partner bids 1clip_image001_thumb which in your methods is four plus.  What do you think is the right bid at matchpoints.  It seems like your choices are 1NT, 2clip_image003_thumb, 2clip_image001_thumb and pass.  What do you like?

I expect that I might pass at matchpoints or maybe bid 2clip_image001_thumb.  Our declarer bid 1NT and I thought that was a reasonable choice at this scoring.  What do you think?  It does sound like the majors are not breaking and while normally you don’t mind ruffing winners in the short hand you might need the high trump.  Also if you bid 1NT you are quite likely to play there while you might get too high if you bid 2clip_image001_thumb.

The commentators had some discussion about this and then Ray and I later in the car.  If you like 1NT you were right on the actual hand.  Partner had you really covered in clubs with:

clip_image001_thumb 9854
clip_image002_thumb 84
clip_image003_thumb K43
clip_image004_thumb AQ104


The takeout doubler is 4-4-4-1 with a stiff diamond and notrump plays better than anything else and gives you a fine score I am sure.

As someone at our table said: Bidding 2clip_image001_thumb will get you a top score at the Master Solver’s Club.  But is it really going to win you matchpoints most of the time?

1 Comment

Dave Memphis MOJOSeptember 21st, 2009 at 4:43 pm

“I guess it is easier when you speak Polish.”

I need to polish my Polish.

On the second hand, I would bid 2S. Partner likes it when you raise him.

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