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Nancy Evins: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice and we both get new partners

Nancy Evins • Updated Jun 3, 2018 at 10:00 AM

I received a letter from a partner who has since moved to another part of the state. He starts off with a series of bridge questions.

The first shows a hand, which is: 

(S) x x x 

(H) x x x 

(D) K x x 

(C) K J x x

His partner has opened one club. What do you bid?

He answers this question thusly.

“I never bid a no-trump with two open suits. Here, I temporize with one diamond. If my partner bids one of the majors I bid one no-trump. I don’t mind bidding no-trump with one open suit. If my partner bids one no-trump – no four diamonds, four hearts or four spades – he has clubs. Ergo, I bid two clubs. If he bids no trump, I bid two clubs. If he rebids clubs, I pass.”

My reply was that I try never to lie or misconstrue my bids. I try to give an answer that is as close as I can to describing my hand and in this case, should my partner open one club, I would bid one no trump immediately. It says exactly what I have…3-3-3-4 distribution and six to nine points.

It would be unlikely, but not impossible, for opener to have a five-club and four-card diamond hand and when he, hearing a diamond response, finds a fit, or so he thinks, adds his distribution and makes a five-diamond rebid. That would be attempting game with a  4-3 “fit.”

Opener is able to figure out responder’s one trump bid also and know the right distribution. Why ask for a major when you won’t fit anyway? Should opener hear a one-diamond response, he thinks partner has four and if bids up the line and bids one spade, if he has four spades, draws a map for opponents to lead hearts. No one has to have stops in the unbids suits and with a six-to-nine-point hand, no one would expect it. A one no-trump bid is a limit bid, and opener is now in control, and his partner can only answer questions. The bidder of one trump must pass unless he is asked one. If opener bids two no-trump, he is asking if partner is on top of his six-to-nine response.

My friend gives me a question. The bidding has gone one club by opener, one diamond by you, one heart by opener, and you hold four spades. What is your bid?

I wrote back and said if I didn’t know the answer to that, I shouldn’t be writing this column.

Nancy Evins, of Lebanon, is a certified bridge instructor. Email her at [email protected]

 

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