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1NT Action at the Hutt

From Thursday 26/4/18. A very ordinary 1NT opening by North on the following deal, but it led to a number of different, some very strange, results.

Board 9 Dealer N EW Vul

Board#9 26/04/2018

If playing basic Acol or even Precision, every North would have opened this hand with a weak 1NT and that would have been followed by two passes. Perhaps I should say, followed by THREE passes. But some Wests decided to take action. The theory of “DONT” in these cases was somewhat misused and perhaps misguided. For the uninitiated, DONT stands for “Disturb Opponents’ No Trump”.

Bidding with West’s hand proved to be very much inadvisable. Two Wests were able to bid 2C as a natural overcall. One got away with it when 2C was passed back to South, who doubled. An excellent bid, because NS were playing double of a minor for takeout, as per my suggestion in an earlier review. But North wasn’t up to it, and instead of passing and collecting 500, bid 2S and collected 140.

Then, there was the West who decided to DOUBLE 1NT. East had nowhere to go, and believing (hoping?) that West had more than he did, passed, as did South. Next, the bidding fiasco was followed by the defence fiasco. East led the ace of spades, looking for West’s strength. West followed with the nine. So much for reverse attitude! Next, East tried the fatal switch to the jack of hearts! Declarer had little trouble in making the doubled contract, with three overtricks! At least those EW pairs who left 1NT alone and led their ‘fourth highest of longest and strongest’ and continued to lead diamonds, scored much better for having the nous to leave 1NT alone. “DONT” can also mean “Don’t Bid”!

Are you interested in a better way to play Acol? My new series “Evil Acol” will follow on from “Thirteen Tricks” which is currently available to interested subscribers.


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