Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Why I Love Playing With Isabelle

There are a lot of reasons why I love playing with Isabelle, she is positive with a sunny personality.  She knows a lot about some great new ideas.  She is a wonderful intuitive defender.  She has a lot of guts.  But last night’s game against Paul Thurston and Dave Woods reminded me of another reason.

Isabelle held SK8 H AJ1094 D 543 CK54

Paul opened a vulnerable 2H bid which must have been a bit of a surprise  Dave passed and I bid 3H which asks for a heart stopper for 3NT.  this was no problem from her hand so Isabelle bid 3NT.  Now I bid 4S.  this is not in our notes and we have never discussed it.  My experience is that with most partner’s venturing out into the unknown is high risk but I have a lot of confidence in Isabelle.  What does this mean and what should she do?  Isabelle deduced that I had a hand that was just too good to bid 4S and one where I didn’t want to start with double for fear it would be passed.  She had a terrific hand for me and so she cue bid 5C which soon saw us in 6S.  We were the only pair to reach that contract.  Here is my hand.

S AQJ1054 H void D AQ7 C AJ83

The hand is cold on the any lead on the lie of the cards.

We are close to being finished a complete version of our system notes.  That is not to say that it won’t grow and change.  Right now our notes are "only" 85 pages, less than a 1/3 as long as Eric Kokish- Beverly Kraft’s notes.  But we will have gone through most parts of the system. One area we struggled with recently is this follow-ons to 1 over 1 auctions like this:


First of all what do you do as responder with a one suited heart hand on various strengths.  For example you have:

A) S xx H AKJxxx D xxx Cxx

B) S xx H AKJxxx D Qxx Cxx

C) S Ax H AKJxxx D Qxx Cxx

D) S AQ H AKJxxx D Kxx Cxx

On hand a you would like to bid hearts constructive, on hand B you would like to bid hearts invitational, on hand c hearts game forcing and on hand d hearts game forcing with slam interest.

We decided to play that 2H is constructive (hand a); that 3H is invitational hand b and that with c or d you have to bid 2D or 2S (ugly).  Anyone have a better idea?  The problem also occurs with balanced notrump type hands with slam try values.


Khokan BagchiDecember 13th, 2007 at 6:24 pm

What’s the difference between “constructive” and “invitational”?
This sequence is very different from 1D-1H-2C. After 1C-1H-2C, 2H should be invitational/constructive, on the theory that you don’t “correct” partner’s 6-card suit unless you have thoughts of game. Given that a rebid is invitational, a jump rebid is forcing. I know this isn’t BWS, but to me it’s pretty obvious that this is the best treatment. Other reasons why a jump rebid should be forcing is that FSF isn’t available. On this basis, I’d bid pass on (1), bid 2H on (2), and bid 3H (forcing) on 3 & 4. Unless a jump rebid is forcing, what can you do with, say, xx AKQxxx xx AJx?

Glen AshtonDecember 13th, 2007 at 11:13 pm

It depends if you play weak jump shifts – i.e. is 1C-2H weak?

Karen and I play:

-2H: GF, shapely two suiter or big
-3H: one suited game force, not much slam interest
-4H: to play, long suit

After 1C-1H–2C-?
-2H: to play, long Hs
-3H: invitational

— —

If you play WJS and science, you can have:

After 1C-1H–2C-?
-2D: artificial, GF, the “Burke Relay”
-2H: constructive
-3H: invitational

Jeff SmithDecember 14th, 2007 at 10:24 am

David Sabourin and I play on the auction 1C-1M-2C, that 2D is forcing to game and all jumps are invitational, partners 1st priority is to show 3 card support, then bid NT with the other major stopped or shape out if say 6-4 in the minors, you really lose nothing with this treatment, except a natural forcing 2D bid, but keep in mind with this hand you are going to rebid 3D over whatever partner responds. Saving this very useful space saving tool for that 1 in a hundred hand when you have diamonds is silly in my opinion. I agree with Khokan that rebidding you major should show at least constructive values, but I think the forcing hand can easily be handled by bidding 2D and if partner does not show 3 card support you can bid your 6+ card major at the 3 level to set up the force.

lindaDecember 20th, 2007 at 5:20 pm

We don’t play weak jump shifts and I am sure that would solve some problems. Constructive is about 7-9 and invitational 10-12. There is another category from 4-6 which I sometimes call noise.

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