Browse By

Virtue being its own Reward

They say virtue has its own rewards. So does good bidding. Here is a prime example of that. There is a very good reason why the better bidders try and find a 4-4 or 5-3 fit when appropriate. Take a look:

Board 11 from Thursday 24/01/19
Dealer S Nil Vul

Board#11 24/01/2019

When West opens 1S, the lazy or ignorant Easts will bid 4S. There are good reasons why most of us play ‘five card’ spade openings. That allows us to find an immediate fit when partner has only three spades. Here, East knows that they have a spade fit and enough for game, but that is all that East knows. Good bidding means not being lazy or ignorant of the true value of East’s hand. There is no reason why East should just bid 4S. There is also no reason for East not to respond by bidding 2C, which leaves more options open.

East even has a four card club suit, though a 2C response to an opening suit bid does not require a 4+ card suit in normal Acol bidding. BUT, a response of 2H guarantees at least five hearts the way most people play it. There are good reasons for that as well but I won’t go into them now, other than to point out that half the EW pairs in this session were in 4H and half in 4S. Not only that, two thirds of those in 4H were 4H by EAST. There is, therefore, something wrong with many people’s basic bidding.

When West opens 1S and East bids 2C, West will bid 2H and East has an easy decision to raise to 4H, maybe even look for a slam in hearts, using whatever asking methods EW use. But a mundane 4H contract will yield them well over half the match points when 4H makes six whereas 4S can make only five. That is why we always look for the 4-4 fit when we also have a 5-3 fit in another suit. The 4-4 fit allows for trumps to be drawn in (hopefully) three rounds and the 5-3 fit allows two discards on the fourth and fifth cards, creating a ruff in one of the hands and therefore an extra trick. That is what all those who play bridge at this level should appreciate. Replay this board by clicking here.

If you have a friend or partner who would like to receive my Thursday reviews, I can accommodate more readers. If you would also like to receive the “Midweek Reviews”, which are more basic and aimed at newer players, I’m happy to add you to that list as well. My earlier book “Tips and Quips” is still available and the follow up “Thirteen Tricks and Evil Acol” is now out, send me an email for more information and a sample preview.