# Zar Points by Zar Petkov Part 4

0
143

#### The Responding

So your partner has already opened, the main consequence being that YOU are in offensive bidding while the opponents have been already pushed in the defensive track. How does this affect your hand evaluation?

You first do the Initial hand evaluation that has been covered in “The Opening” section and THEN make certain adjustments – adjustments to the partner’s suit and adjustments to the opponents’ suit. The minimum point-count that allows you to talk is 16:

– 1 additional point for the trump honors (trump 10 counts for 1, trump A counts for 5) up to MAX 2.
– 1 additional point for the Invitational-second-suit honors (10 counts for 1, A counts for 5), MAX 2.

The total allowance here is two, whether 2, 3, 4 or 5 are held (the rest goes away as ‘duplication values’). So how do you judge the level you are ready to play at? Here are the Game calculations:

– 52 Zars for Game at level 4 ( two opening hands make a game),
– 57 Zars for level 5,
– 62 Zars for a slam at level 6.

Plain and simple – 5 points per level. These 5 points may come from an additional K in the partner’s suit (3 points from the HCP, 1 from the control, and the premium 1 from the honor in the partner’s suit), from an additional outside A (2 from the controls plus 4 from the HCP) etc.

Let’s close this section with four of the most common situations in game bidding (the long-suit invitation has already been mentioned, with the re-evaluation of the responder’s hand based on the 2 long suits of the opening hand).

 West East Points Q 10 x xA xx xK x x x x K J x x xK x xx x xA x East has 26-count = 11 HCP + 8 long (5+3) + 3 Short (5-2) + 4 Control = 26. West has 24 = 9 HCP + 9 long  (5+4) + 3 Short (5-2) + 3 Control = 24  E open 1, O correct +1 for Q + 1 for 10 = 26 (K trump = 4, Q trump = 3, J trump = 2, 10 trump = 1). 1 – 4. Q 10 x xQ xx xK x x x x K J x x xK x xx x xA x East has 26 count = 11 HCP + 8 long (5+3) + 3 Short (5-2) + 4 Control = 26. West has 20 = 7 HCP + 9 long (5+4) + 3 Short ( 5-2) + 1 Control = 20. E open 1, O correct +1 for Q + 1 for 10 = 22.1 – 3. Q 10 x xx xx xK x x x x K J x x xK x xx x xA x East has 26-count = 11 HCP + 8 long (5+3) + 3 Short (5-2) + 4 Control = 26. West has 18 = 5 HCP + 9 argos (5+4) + 3 Short (5-2) + 1 Control = 18. E open1, O correct +1for Q + 1 for 10 = 20.1 – 2 A Q x xA xx xK x x x x K J x x xK x xx x xA x East has 26-count = 11 HCP + 8 long (5+3) + 3 Short (5-2) + 4 Control = 26. West has 30 = 13 HCP + 9 long (5+4) + 3 Short ( 5-2) + 5 Control = 30. E open1, W correct +1 for Q + 1 for A =32.1 – 2NT. (32+) – Long raise version of Jacoby 2NT. If E has only  Axx , this will bring 6 additional points and slam (62 min for slam)

It is worth noting that initially we had the responding level at 18 rather than 16, but after some additional experiments the responding level was adjusted to 16, which fits perfectly with the “5 points per level” calculations. So, let’s say the opener has 26 and opens 1 , while the responder has 16 and bids 2 . Now, if you put additional 5 points in each hand, this will bring the point count to the game-level of 52.

#### Honors Re-evaluation – Your honors are your real estate

During the initial hand valuation when you pick up your cards, it’s a standard procedure to depreciate shortsuit honors by a point. While the bidding progresses, you do a re-evaluation of the hand, accounting for the suits bid by your partner and your opponents.

Just remember that the three important rules for evaluating the HCP-portion of your hand match the wellknown
three important rules for evaluating real estate – location, location, location:

1) Location of your honors in partner’s suits – add a point for each honor (10 including) to a maximum of 2 (if you have KQ10 add only 2, rather than 3).

2) Location of your honors in opponents’ suits – subtract/add a point for the honors in the suits bid by the opponents depending on location of the opponent (chances are you don’t have many of these, so no limit here): an AQ or Kx behind (offside) the bidder can be upgraded while QJx – downgraded respectively. The same AQ or Kx should be downgraded if you are in front of (onside) the bidding opponent.

3) Location of your «depreciated» honors in short suits – add the honors bonus points for the partner’s suits while further discount the honors in short suits bid by your opponents. Doubleton QJ in the opponents’ suit can be dropped to zero while in the partners suit it gets to 4 points, since the 1-point discount for ‘blank honors’ stays due to the inflexibility it presents in playing the suit by blocking the communications.

As the bidding progresses, you continue re-evaluating the hand in the light of both Partner’s bids and the opponents bids. A suit of AQx can be upgraded to AKx if the suit is bid in front of you, while a KJx can be dropped to 1 pt if the suit is bid behind you. You use your head constantly.