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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Managing theMulti”.

The Multi 2 Diamond convention has both its fans and its haters. Advocates of Weak Two openings criticise it because it can lose the pre-emptive advantage when the partner is unsure which suit opener has 6 cards in.You have to ask using 2NT if you have game values although 3 of a major directly after 2Diamond-small should be available pre-emptively when responder has at least three cards in each major.

What happens, though, when an opponent bids at the 3-level? If you want to play in game but are not sure which suit your partner holds, what do you do? If you take the wrong action, for your partnership, it could be “Multi Mayhem”:

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

     
East Deals
E-W Vul
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 8 4
A 10 9 7 6 3
K 10 4
9
West North East South
    2  3 
4  5  ?  

 

What does 4Club-small mean? What would double of 3Club-small have meant? Say your partner had bid 4Heart-small, what would that have meant? Knowing your partner’s intention might help with your decision here.

Assuming 5Diamond-small is really long (it just has to be to bid above their partner's club bid), should you double because of your relatively useful defensive diamond cards?

Kris Wooles “Double: to show defence to 5Diamond-small. Partner is probably able to play in either major and can still bid if he wants to. If I didn’t have the Diamond-smallK and Heart-smallA, which look like good defensive cards to me, then I would have passed and let partner decide.”

Nigel Kearney “Double. Compared to a typical weak two, my hand is defensively strong as I have secondary honours in their suit and ace-empty of my suit. Partner can also see the vulnerability and his own hand and is welcome to pull with lots of major cards.”

Peter Newell “Double: I have diamond values which are very unlikely to be useful in hearts so want to suggest defending.  On the auction it is not a great hand, as the trumps are average and the Diamond-smallK is likely to be completely useless as far as 5Heart-small is concerned.  This is a warning to partner, who can choose to rip it if he is confident of making 5Heart-small knowing that I have defensive strength in diamonds. At Teams, though, really not a fan of my playing 5 level contracts when a penalty is on offer.”

Michael Cornell “Double. Even if we can make 5Heart-small, (which would require nearly solid spades from partner) we should get quite a bit from this. (a "doubly" good prediction)

We have a lot of defence for a multi, an ace, a certain trump trick and a singleton.”

That sounds like a lot of tricks for the defence…but I am not so sure and neither is:

Matt Brown “Pass. We would like to double to stop partner from bidding 5 over 5 but I think X from a pre-emptor at a high level should say I want to sacrifice rather than the opposite. Double also might push either hand to 6Club-small which could easily be cold if there is a singleton diamond.”

An interesting concept regarding double by a pre-emptor but North could have bid 4Diamond-small. If they have very long diamonds and some clubs, that does not leave much left in the majors. However, for the majority:

Stephen Blackstock “Double: On the basis that West is simply offering to play East’s suit at the four level, then I now double. Too many holes to venture to the five level without extra from West: a forcing pass might be an interesting option but (a) It’s unclear whether forcing pass is applicable here and (b) I would need to be certain that partner agreed that it’s forcing. On the face of it,I have at least two tricks, and there must be every chance of two more on a club lead – West should show me his entry at trick one if not winning. Pass with such good defence would be unhelpful. If West has sufficient values to allow 5Heart-small to make (and doesn’t go on) then we should get at least 500 from 5Diamond-small.”

Very true and I suspect that this time your partner would have pulled your double, maybe with reluctance. Michael Ware also voted for Double.

 Before all is revealed, are you (if you play a Multi 2Diamond-small) clear what a double of 3Club-small would mean. (I say “for penalties”)

What about a jump to 4Heart-small? (I believe that is my suit rather than “pass or correct”) and therefore:

What did 4Club-small mean? For me, that is to play in partner’s major. And for you?

East Deals
E-W Vul
   
A K 9 7 6 5 3
K J 2
J 5 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 8 4
A 10 9 7 6 3
K 10 4
9
West North East South
    2  3 
4  5  Dbl Pass
5  All pass    

 

The double of 5Diamond-small and pull to 5Heart-small might just put North off from leading their Diamond-smallA. Club-smallK lead from North (remember what Matt Brown said about club tolerance) overtaken and a diamond from South puts pressure on West to play trumps correctly. If you ruff it becomes vital. If you discard setting up the Diamond-smallK, then you cannot lose any further tricks.

Perhaps on the basis that North is unlikely to hold ultra-long diamonds, club tolerance and three hearts, you play trumps from the top and are duly rewarded. Oh, there’s still the great desire that spades break 2-1. Your wish is granted.

East Deals
E-W Vul
J
5 4
A J 9 8 7 6 3 2
K 7
A K 9 7 6 5 3
K J 2
J 5 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 8 4
A 10 9 7 6 3
K 10 4
9
 
Q 2
Q 8
Q 5
A Q 10 8 6 4 2
West North East South
    2  3 
4  5  Dbl Pass
5  All pass    

 

5Heart-small bid and made. 5Diamond-small x nicely 4 down on the singleton club lead. 6Club-small does not make but is less expensive..probably down 3 though South’s second spade needs to be ruffed before trumps can be drawn. (Is West brave enough to lead a trump?)

800 or 650…both on offer but having agreements is handy, too. Oh, did you even wonder why West had to bid 4Club-small? Surely, they knew which major partner had? Yes, normally…but in the world of “Multi Mayhem”, just once in a while East will have Spade-smallQJT842 making 4Heart-smalljust a slightly awkward contract to play!

excitement 3.png
 

You may not be a Multi fan but it does create some interesting, macabre and fun situations both for the opposition and at times the users!

Would you bid?

 
K J 10 2
9 7 6 5 2
J 9 7 2
West North East South
      1 
Dbl ?    

It looks like some bad things could happen by bidding and not much could go wrong by passing. So, it’s still your bid. Would you ?

Richard Solomon



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