All News

Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Is that wise?

Silence is…..

You have just 5 high-card points (and included in that are two jacks which we are told are often worth less than one point each) and your only decent suit is the one indicated by the opponent’s take-out double. It sounds like it could be a board in which you are best to become a quiet observer of the bidding.

However, or maybe just to reinforce that view, you have not one card in the suit with which your partner opened the bidding. Is “silence golden?”

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

 
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?

In recent bidding problems, our Panel has been quite united. Not today, though.

Michael Ware “Pass:  No reason to bid on a potential misfit and minimum points.

Matt Brown “ Pass: Partner should be aware that if I pass and so does the next hand, it is almost never right for him to leave it in 1Heart-smallx and should start running. So, I don't think I need to cater for that by bidding first. Bidding 1Spade-small has an upside of partner raising or bidding a minor but I think that becomes less likely with the X, even if only slightly. If I bid 1Spade-small and partner jumps to 3/4Heart-small, that surely can't be good for us.”

No problems about the last comment. If we assume that West will have no more than three hearts for most take-out doubles (and often less), that leaves at least 10 to be distributed between your partner and East. Therefore, a bid from you now may well induce a further heart bid from your partner.

Also, they have not yet passed 1Heart-smallx for penalties. Much of the time East will “take-out” the double and your worries about bidding are over unless your partner happens to call a minor.

However, let’s hear from the bidders:

Nigel Kearney “1Spade-small:  It's too soon to panic and start fearing a misfit. Partner may have 3-4 spades and raise or may bid a minor. And if he's going to bid lots of hearts, a pass from me won't necessarily prevent that.”

Stephen Blackstock “1Spade-small: Why would I let West’s double dissuade me from showing my strongest suit, and a call I would have been happy to make if West passed? If I pass and East bids 1NT especially, I know what I want led, and at Pairs that can be crucial. The only alternative is pass, and I can’t see how that can help our auction or our defence.”

Peter Newell  “1Spade-small: a little reluctantly.  It seems completely normal to bid 1Spade-small which is where my values are, and while I don’t fit partner’s suit, the spade values may be useful.  1Spade-small gives us an improved chance to find a fit if we have one, and upon occasion partner will benefit from not playing 1Heart-small doubled. Yes, I’m worried about getting too high if partner rebids hearts or no trumps…

I am tempted to pass as in doing so it makes it hard for East.  One is more reluctant to make a penalty pass when you are sitting in front of the suit. So, East may well strain to bid something – eg stretching to bid 1NT, or 1Spade-small: so passing does have some appeal. Even if East passed and partner did too (he should be wary if he has a second suit or a balanced hand whereby, he should consider 1NT if sufficient values), it maybe -100 against their 120.”

Kris Wooles “1Spade-small: I like to show that I have, namely some values and a decent enough spade suit and let partner make the next call. Yes, the heart void is a negative feature but who knows he might want to bid 3NT based on my spade holding."

Michael Cornell “1Spade-small: Unless I am ’shooting’ (tops) – it can easily be our hand and often in spades. If I pass and LHO does too, I can hardly expect partner to rip on his 2-5-3-3. I have never had a liking for playing 5-0 fits!"

So, there are all kind of reasons for bidding 1Spade-small, whether it be for a lead to their no-trump contract, stop showing so that partner can have a go at our 9-trick game (with long running hearts) or even to find a spade or even a minor fit. If partner is unkind enough to make 3Heart-small or 4Heart-small  his second bid, just tell them not to worry about overtricks as you put dummy down!

Back, though, to a passer:

Bruce Anderson “Pass:  I have a void in partner’s suit and only 5 high card points. If I bid 1Spade-small, it is all too likely I will hear 2Heart-small, or even worse, 3Heart-small. We are only at the one level should partner have a single suited hand and nowhere to go if East passes. In fact, an attempt to penalize may not work out well so long as partner has a reasonable suit.

If partner bids a second suit, I will make a distributional raise; my initial pass meaning that I have few high cards."

There seems to be a difference in opinion as to what South should do with their balanced looking minimum. Matt Brown thinks South should run while for Michael Cornell, it looks like they will (not) grin but would have to “bear” it!

When the board was played, not one South faced with the decision, ran and yet there was a very safe resting place, just one suit higher:

South Deals
None Vul
K J 10 2
9 7 6 5 2
J 9 7 2
8 7 5 4
K 10
J 10 8
A K 6 5
 
N
W   E
S
 
Q
J 9 7 6 4 3
A Q
Q 10 4 3
 
A 9 6 3
A Q 8 5 2
K 4 3
8
West North East South
      1 
Dbl ?    

 

It must have as quite a surprise to West, considering their heart holding, that East had elected to pass 1Heart-smallx (no misclick, either!). Every South faced with the prospect of a bad trump break, passed the double though since they all failed by one or two tricks (it looks like the defence could have restricted South to 4 tricks), they scored poorly with others playing in a spade partial, where North had bid first time.

There is no knowing what would happen if you try 1Spade-small. Partner’s heart suit may be rather good and long. I do not think we should fear more heart bids from South. They heard the opponent’s double, too, and do not have to overbid. Just say they bid 2Diamond-small. That would, for instance be most welcome.

And as for standing 1Heart-smallx on that South hand? 1Spade-small might be a reasonable action. Who is to say that your partner might have a long weak club suit for which they need you to bid in order to run to? Nothing, of course, is certain in bridge. That is part of the reason it is so interesting.

speak someone.png

“Silence” for both North and South was not “golden”. Someone needed to speak.   

What to open?

Too much for the one level. A gaping hole if treated as balanced. Rebid issues if you Game Force. You are playing Pairs.

     
South Deals
None Vul
 
N
W   E
S
   
 
A K Q 8
A K 4 3
5
A Q 10 4
West North East South
      ?

Come on, the move is about to be called! Your bid!

Richard Solomon

 
 
     
South Deals
None Vul
 
N
W   E
S
   
 
A K Q 8
A K 4 3
5
A Q 10 4
West North East South
      ?

 

Go Back View All News Items

Our Sponsors
  • NZB Foundation
  • Ryman