Test Your Responses to Michaels Cuebid by M. Lawrence

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How would you continue after the following sequence at pairs, nil vulnerable? (1C) – 2C* – (Pass) – ?

By Paul Lavings
On 12 December, 2015 At 11:34

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Source: [FROM MIKE LAWRENCE’S CD “CONVENTIONS”] by Paul LavingsPaul Lavings

How would you continue after the following sequence at pairs, nil vulnerable? (1) – 2* – (Pass) – ?

*5-5 or better in the majors


1. 3. The jump to three of a major over the Michaels Cuebid is reserved for hands of invitational strength, with four card support. The Michaels bidder would now be expected to pass with up to 10 HCP.

2. 2. You would like to preempt with 3, and bid to the three level quickly with your nine card fit, but you can’t have it both ways. The jump to 3 would be invitational to game.

3. 4. On his CD Mike illustrates with examples how the jump to 4 makes life far more difficult for the opposition. Though you suspect that you can make very little, and have no idea what the opponents can make, it is important to get to the four level quickly with ten trumps and two shapely hands.

4. 2. When partner employs Michaels over 2, the 2 reply asks for the longer major, or the stronger major if 5-5. It would be costly to bid 2 and find partner with six spades and five hearts. Also with something like  A62  1062  A862  765, it makes sense to bid 2 to place the declaration in partner’s hand.

5. 2NT. Your hand is promising, and 2NT shows an invitational hand with 3 cards in one or both majors. Responses are: 3 = 5-5 minimum, 3 = 5-6 minimum, 3 = 5-5 good hand (11-15 HCP), 3 = 5-6 good hand, 3NT = 5-5 top hand ( 15+ HCP). The responses that deny a minimum are game forcing.

6. 3. The cuebid of the opponent’s suit is the only game force. This gives you room to explore for slam below the game level, and on his CD Mike provides instructive examples of how to best use this space to best advantage.

7. 2. You would prefer to bid 2 but that asks the Michaels bidder for the longer major, as in question 4.

8. Pass. Though I don’t blame you if you bid 2. However years of experience warns me that if I bid 2, partner will have an excellent hand and, in competition bid 3. And that will not be a positive experience, especially doubled. My instincts tell me to get out early. Remember, the bidding’s not over yet !

9. 2. You have a promising hand but not quite enough to bid an invitational 2NT. There are two things to consider. First is that you don’t want to discourage the opponents from competing at the three level, since you have excellent defence. Secondly, against a trump lead your hand begins to lose a lot of its appeal, and strong opponents will lead a trump when they are strong in the Michael’s bidder’s other suit.

10. 3. Even if 2 were available you might still choose 3 to preempt the auction. Likewise if the opening bid were 1 and the Michaels Cuebid 2, then 3 would be natural and non-forcing.


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