Non-system Bidding Issues II by Frank Stewart

Print Friendly

The true value of shortness depends on the degree of fit and how much wasted strength lies opposite the shortness.

Frank Stewart chico1
Print Friendly

Source: ACBL

My Bridge and Yours
Non-system bidding issues — part 2

Trump suit valuation

Most players rely on the 4-3-2-1 point count. They count extra points for useful short suits after they find a trump fit in another suit. The true value of shortness depends on the degree of fit and how much wasted strength lies opposite the shortness.

West North East South
1 Pass 1NT Pass
2 2 3 ?
       

4 J 5 3 A 9 6 5 4 3 7 6 3

South’s singleton is worth less than usual because the auction marks North with spade length and strength.

West North East South
      1
1 Pass 1 Pass
2 Pass 4 Pass
5 All Pass    
       
West East
4
A Q J 6 2
Q J 7 3
A 10 6 4
A J 8 3 2
5
A 10 6 4
J 5 2
   

East’s singleton heart, where West was known to have length and strength, was more a liability, especially when East held only four trumps. East should have settled for a raise to 3.

West North East South
      1
Pass 1 Pass 2
Pass 2NT Pass ?
       

6 J 9 6 4 A Q 9 7 A J 9 5

In a Spingold match, South signed off at 3. His trumps were weak, and North was likely to have duplicated values in spades.

North held: K J 10 8 Q 5 3 2 4 3 K Q 6.

3made. At the other table 4 went down.

West North East South
  1 2 2
3 Pass Pass ?
       

(a) K J 4 K J 5 4 6 5 4 3 5 3

(b) A K J 4 3 K J 5 6 5 4 3 5 4

The difference between an eight-card fit and a nine-card fit is significant. Possession of a ninth trump is often enough to influence you to compete at the three level. To bid 3, you would prefer (b).

West North East South
      1
Pass 2NT* Pass ?
       

(*) Forcing raise.

(a) A K Q J 2 K 4 3 9 3 4 K 10 2

(b) A K 8 3 2 A Q 3 9 3 4 K 10 2

Hand (b) is better for slam purposes. Hand (a) suffers from duplication in trumps. Since North’s response promises four-card support, you won’t need the J to draw trumps

West North East South
  3 Pass ?
       

(a) K 4 A 9 3 A Q 4 J 8 6 4 2

(b) K 4 A Q 3 A 4 3 J 8 6 5 2

Prefer (a). The Q in (b) is wasted.

More Wasted and Working Values

You count points to estimate the value of your hand as dealt. As the auction progresses, your values may get better or worse.

West North East South
  1 Pass 1
Pass 1 Pass 1NT
Pass 2 Pass ?
       

(a) K 4 10 6 4 2 A 6 Q 8 6 4 2

(b) 8 3 K Q 5 2 J 6 K 8 6 5 2

Hand (b), which has wasted heart strength opposite North’s probable void, is worth only a chance-giving raise to 3. Hand (a) may produce 6! Give North a suitable hand: A 9 5 2 K J 5 3 2 A K 5 3 and you may make seven.

West North East South
  1 Pass 1
Pass 2 Pass ?
       

(a) A 8 7 5 3 Q 8 6 K J 8 4 3

(b) K Q 8 6 2 8 6 4 J 5 K J 5

Hand (a), with fitting honors, is worth at least an invitational jump to 3. Some of the black-suit values in (b) will be wasted; North may have a singleton spade. A bid of 2NT would be aggressive.

West North East South
  1 Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass ?
       

(a) Q 4 3 A 4 3 2 Q 4 3 2 3 2

(b) A 4 3 Q 4 3 2 Q 4 3 2 3 2

Bid 4 only on (a). The Q is bound to be a useful card, but the value of the Q in (b) is unclear.

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

Comments are closed.