por Paul Lavings
Some areas of standard bidding leave a lot to be desired. For example, 1- 1 : 3, opener’s jump raise, can be any of these hands:
How does responder know how to value their hand? In Example 1, values in diamonds should be discounted, as should heart values in Example 2. In Example 3, a decent spade suit should be ample for 10 tricks. Using mini-splinters the bidding would be:
|1 – 1||All jumps shifts by opener in response to a new suit are invitational values showing a shortage in that suit,
or a maxi(super) splinter. Responder now judges by the diamond fi t whether to carry on to game:
|Pass – the diamond values aren’t pulling their full weight|
|4 – only 6 HCP but all premium values plus a few valuable tens|
|1 – 1||Invitation with a shortage in hearts.|
|Pass – the heart values aren’t pulling their weight and there will be far too many losers elsewhere|
|4 – only 7 HCP but all premium values|
|1 – 1||18-19 balanced with four spades.|
In standard, 18-19 balanced with four spades is typically a 4 rebid. Responder sometimes fudges the 1 response for tactical reasons with short clubs, or a good fit in clubs, and does not want to be in 4 opposite 18-19 balanced. In this style responder can pass 3 with, say: Q10986, Q542, 872, 8 or Q1096, 2, 8743, J1052
With a stronger hand, the responder makes the normal game-force splinter bid:
|1 – 1||game going values, short diamonds|
|1 – 1||game going values, short clubs|
Sometimes the opener is even stronger, and this is where the maxi-splinter comes into play. If you opened
1, what would you rebid if responder replied 1:
These are all powerful hands but you are better to open 1 rather than 2, where you will likely be awkwardly
placed later in the auction. When partner replies 1 to your opening 1 you have an enormous hand, and if you make the normal splinter of 4 you may miss a slam when responder signs off in 4. Even opposite a sub-minimum response slam may be very close.
The solution is to make the mini-splinter bid of 3 for the moment. If responder signs off in 3 then carry on to 4, or even cuebid, showing the maxi-splinter. If responder accepts your invite by jumping to 4 over 3 then bid 4NT on Example 1, and cuebid 5 (inferring a diamond void) on Examples 2 and 3.
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