Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Norm is back!

My mentee Norm from Israel and I have begun to play again. If you drop in at BBO on Thursday mornings at 9:30 EDT you will usually find us. Norm has his ups and downs and his strength is hand evalation. We all have fun with slams. Here was Norm’s chance to win a lot of imps.






I opened 1  in first chair. Norm bid a game forcing 2  and I continued with 2♦.

How good is his hand? I seem to have the red suits and Norm has the black suits. Still he has at least nine tricks in his own hand. If I have two aces then he has eleven tricks for sure.  Norm now wanted to show this monster with a side four card spade suit. He jumped to 3 . 

I had no idea what this meant. Was it some sort of splinter in support of diamonds?  Was it spades and a really really good hand.  I figured he would let me know and just bid 3NT.

There is a slight risk bidding keycard now because it is just possible that I have no aces and our response to show that is 5 . But Norm is bold and he bid 4NT. I had no trouble figuring out that this was keycard for some suit? Clubs? Diamonds? Luckily it didn’t matter. I showed my two aces with 5 , wishing for the old days when 4NT was simple Blackwood.

Norm now could count eleven tricks for sure. I confess on his hand now I might have bid a club slam since I had to have some clubs for my 3NT bid and maybe he would need to set up a hearts trick or a spade trick for trick 12 (or 13). A small slam seemed safe enough but Norm loves to go for the big one. He bid the grand. 7NT. Thank you Norm for your dramatic bids and especially thank you for not torturing me with some sort of bid over 5 .

I could claim at trick one. Here is the whole deal


.I be interested in your thoughts on the meaning of the 3  bid.

All Pass




John StoreyJune 22nd, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Good morning Linda – I am certainly no expert, but since 2C is game forcing, 3S should be a splinter in support of diamonds, so long as your partner is on the same wavelength. Thanks for sharing this interesting hand.

LindaJune 22nd, 2013 at 1:04 pm

It really ought to be a splinter in support of diamonds. I did consider that. Sometimes when you have an undiscussed sequence you have to think about what your partner’s tendencies are. Norm makes exuberant bids. I figured even if it was a splinter I didn’t want to play in diamonds unless he insisted and I hoped the spade QJ would hold up as a stopper!

Marty DeneroffJune 22nd, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I also think 3S should be a splinter. 2S shows extras since it is a reverse, and to my thinking would be the correct bid on this hand.

Felix ShenJune 24th, 2013 at 3:51 am

2S would NOT be a reverse, but rather a waiting bid — Why didn’t you bid 1S in the first turn?

LindaJune 24th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Felix I assume you mean why didn’t Norm bid !S over 1H. There may be some players somewhere who prefer to bid a four card major ahead of a good seven card minor when they have enough to respond at the two-level. I have never played with one and don’t wish to do so. When you have a great seven card suit and lots of points you bid it. So I think the auction 1H-2C is normal. After the auction contines 1H-2C-2D Norm can and should bid 2S. Without discussion it should be natural.

That is why 3S should really be a splinter in support of diamonds. However, I wasn’t sure that Norm would play it that way. I was in a quandry. SHould I treat it as natural or as a splinter for diamonds.

I decided that if it was a splinter Norm would (I hoped) not sit for 3NT. So 3NT was a sort of a safety play. Now once I bid 3NT when Norm bid 4NT I was in another quandry. Hencde the discussion above

Felix ShenJune 25th, 2013 at 12:16 am

I would rather play 2S as a waiting bid. If opener holds 4-5-4-0, he can bid 3S after 1H-2C-2D-2S.

By the way, I agree that in the above situation, 2C is the obvious choice. I disagree 2S is a “reverse” bid in a 2/1 sequence.

LindaJune 25th, 2013 at 4:16 pm

I agree with your theory. If you mean that 2S is natural and does not promise (or deny) extra values.

If that is true than what should 3S be. The obvious answer is a splinter in support of diamonds. But you can play it as something else suppose. Perhaps a wildly distributional hand with spades and clubs.

Does it make sense for it to be a really good hand with four spades? Probably not very useful.

My problem was trying to figure out what Norm who is not a sophisticated 2/1 bidder meant it to be. I decided that 3NT still let Norm correct if it was a splinter. Obviously I could get in trouble with this bid but I was stuck.

It is fun and aggravating too when you enter undiscussd territory with a partner you don’t normally play with and you have to navigate around an auction.

Thank you for your comments … sorry I misunderstood your first one.

JRGJune 30th, 2013 at 1:21 am

2S should be “waiting or natural”. What’s the point of showing a 4-card spade suit with a jump? The only time you are (probably) going to want to play in spades, partner will have a club void (i.e. 4=5=4=0). 3S over 2S would find that fit and still leave room to explore.

Since 2C establishes a Game-Force, why would one ever want to jump to 4S unless it tells partner something really useful on the way to slam. In my partnerships, 4S is guaranteed to be a splinter in support of diamonds — for whatever that is worth!

Nice result though!

Norman BarronJuly 3rd, 2013 at 11:59 am

Hi Linda
thanks for all the comments.
How should /would the bidding have gone with experts?
but 7NT lay down was a lot of fun.

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