Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Starting to come together

Colin and I have been practicing a bit more regularly and I have been spending a bit of time on the notes.  So it is starting to feel like the system is making some sense.  People are still going crazy when we open a forcing club.  Last night when we played one of our opponents overcalled two diamonds vulnerable on queen fourth and nothing much else.   In the end the partnership managed to go for 1400 in our partial.  Or as they used to play on Mash, “Suicide is painless”.

As a result we do get a decent workout of our defenses over a club.  In one auction Colin had shown 0-4 and the opponents bid and raised hearts.  I wanted to get him to pick a minor but decided that two notrump was for play.  (It seems a bit more useful to play it as takeout but in the ensuing discussion we agreed to leave it as natural for now).  So I doubled being 3-0-5-5.  Three hearts pass, pass came back to me so I bid three notrump.  I think this has to be takeout with an emphasis on the minors after the double.  It didn’t much matter since naturally the opponents were not willing to let us actually bid anything so eventually they went down in four hearts (into our diamond partial).

This was an interesting debate.  Vulnerable. Colin opened one spade (four plus spades and less than 16).  RHO bid 2NT unusual.  I bid three spades (less than a limit raise and generally for play opposite a limited hand).  Colin bid four spades which went pass, pass five diamonds.  Are we in a forcing pass auction?  Usually I play that when we voluntarily bid a vulnerable game we are.  But here Colin is limited and so am I.  Colin passed this to me and I passed it out.  This was the right decision on the hand since five diamonds made (and we go for a tidy number if we bid).  What do you think?  These situations are quite complex.

We are now playing that over a one diamond opener which generally denies a four card major, a major suit bid shows five.  This has interesting implications and I rather like it.  One is that it is more comfortable for opener to raise on three trump.   Here is a typical situation.

S 2
H A52
D AQJ876
C K109

Colin opened one diamond and when I bid a heart (five plus) he has a great hand.  This might make game opposite as little as KJxxx of hearts and nothing else.  He bid three hearts and we ended in four hearts.  We discussed whether it made sense for him to splinter instead of bidding three hearts.  It seems a bit much to force to game.

This was a great summer weekend.  Besides bridge we went to a street fair, had a garage sale, went out with my sister and her hubby, visited with friends.  Don’t you love summer.  More Internet bridge tomorrow.


Nigel KearneyJuly 6th, 2009 at 6:46 pm

My view is that the forcing pass situation only applies when you have bid a game based on high card values (or shown the values to do so). Your auction is not close to that. The 4S bidder may expect to make or may just have some distribution hand and be bidding because somebody can probably make something. It could even be two shapely hands with 10HCP opposite 3.

On the ‘major suit response shows five’ point, it works well on that hand. However playing a limited opening you have more options because 2S, 2NT and 3D can all be used to show different hands worth 3D and/or 3H. The downside of requiring a five card suit to respond are:

1) Sometimes a 4-3 major fit is best

2) You will often play 1NT from the wrong side

3) It’s harder to accurately bid the hands with a choice between 3NT and 5 of a minor

Linda LeeJuly 9th, 2009 at 6:52 am

Colin and I had a similar discussion. The forcing pass should require bidding a value game. So far we haven’t had too many problems with using a five card major response over 1D. But it is true that we may play notrump from the wrong side sometime. Still opener has less than 17 HCP when balanced so notrump may well be just as good or even better with responder as declarer. I guess we will have to see with much more experience whether this works out as a positive or a negaitve.

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