Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Forcing pass revisited and more

The ACBL Bulletin is starting to move up on my list of must read magazines.  I have always enjoyed the column by Pam and Matt Granovetter.  This month’s article was particularly interesting because it talked about the issue of showing strength to create a forcing pass.  The discussion here is about 3 level interference.  In the example your partner opens 1and RHO overcalls 3♣.  The idea here is that 4 is not a slam try but sets up a forcing pass situation.  It is effectively a raise to 4 made with values. 

Colin and I had this discussion playing forcing club.  It partner was prone to jump to game knowing that slam was unlikely after a limited opening than opener couldn’t generally penalty double any bids made by the opposition since responder could have anything from a preempt to a game force.   But of course it is true with standard too.   The problem in either case is how does opener know if responder just wants to play in game or is making a real slam try.    Even if the opponents don’t bid again there are issues if the cuebid takes you close to game.  I guess opener simply does not go past game by himself but lets responder make a move unless opener has significant undisclosed values. 

If the opponents come back into the auction than there are more issues, with less space.  In the example in this month’s Bulletin Pamela’s partner jumped to slam (off two aces) after the opponents came in again.   I guess opener should not assume extra values and bid accordingly.  Nothing seems very satisfactory but the forcing club bidders should have it easier.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to handle this type of situation – playing forcing club and playing standard (or 2/1)?

 Last night Ray and I had the great pleasure of playing a few hands against Erin Anderson and Matthew Mason of the Canadian Youth team.  We played 12 hands before Ray who had played tennis all afternoon conked out.  It was an interesting session in that the older folks overbid and the youth were a lot more sensible.  

 Here is a hand where the “mature” woman got a bit frisky.  But a lot of you would too.  I held K98654 J84   J4 ♣. J7 

Matthew opened 1 red on white, Ray passed and Erin bid 1 .  I don’t like to bid on bad hands where I am unlikely to play the hand but I decided to bid 2 .  It used up so much space.  Matt bid 3  and it went all pass.  We had quite a pretty defence to beat the hand two tricks for a good score.  Erin and Matthew played very well against us and we all had a good time.



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