Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

The Winners

I have been involved in quite a few team games with Isabelle and Sondra in the last while.  Tonight I was playing with Colin who played very well.  Generally Jeff and Paul have played as well with a number of fourth pairs.  Isabelle and Sondra have been consistent winners.  And tonight they displayed that consistent play and few errors are the best way to win team games.   Here are some examples of how Isabelle and Sondra won tonight.   You are South and you have this hand:

♠ Q974
♥ —
◊ KQ8752
♣ AK5

No one is vulnerable and East is third chair opens 1♥.  What bid do you chose?  It seems that there are two good choices 2◊ and double.   The advantage of bidding 2◊ is that it is a pretty safe strain.  It may be your best partscore and partner is not likely to find it on her own.  I think double is the better bid.  It gets partner’s hand into play when partner doesn’t have a diamond fit.  At our table our opponents had an accident and we got a plus score defending 2NT.  But let’s look at what might have happened.  The auction would go like this

West North East South
pass pass 1♥ 2◊
2NT* pass 3♥ ?


I believe 2NT was intended as a constructive raise with four hearts.  Now you are badly placed.  But after a double partner will come in 3♣ and you will compete to 4♣ which will make at least four.  Partner’s hand is

♠ KJ3
♥ J643
◊ 3
♣ Q7643

Now maybe I am resulting a bit but I think that finding the right answer to these choice that you constantly have to make in a match lead to good results.

There was one more notable hand.  The auction was the same at both tables and it wasn’t that challenging but it demonstrates how awkward strong 2♣ auctions are and it makes you wish you were playing something else.  In first chair with nobody vulnerable Isabelle held:

♥ KQ3
◊ —

Basically a one loser hands.  Most systems over 2♣ do not handle two suiters very well and when there is a choice many players opt to start at the one level.  But on a hand like this clearly that is two dangerous.  Isabelle opened 2♣ and Sondra bid 2◊.  I want to look at that bid a moment.  Sondra held

♠ 64
♥ J752
♣ 104

What do you need to make a positive in a minor i.e. bidding 3?  That would make this auction more difficult but in general what kind of hand should you have.  Should it be six cards long?  There is a good argument for that.  But maybe it should show no ace, king or queen outside that suit.  In a way that might be helpful on a hand like this. 

In any case Isabelle now bid  2♠ and Sondra bid her diamond suit 3◊.  Isabelle continued with her plan by bidding 4♣.  Sondra bid  4◊ with nothing better to do.  So here is the auction with Isabelle to bid.

Isabelle Sondra
2♣ 2◊
2♠ 3◊
4♣ 4◊


Isabelle bid 6♣ asking Sondra to pick.  I know that I hoped that if my partner had the ♥A and liked spades that he would bid 6♥ on the way.  It might have been more of a stretch to expect partner to bid 7♣ with the ♥A and a club preference.  Partner bids 6♠ which is a fine spot and makes six.

I know they don’t come up very often but it would be good to improve 2♣ auctions because these hands can often be important ones. 

Anyway, well done Isabelle and Sondra tonight and all the other nights.  It is nice to see a young pair of Canadian women playing so well together.

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