Who Dares Wins!
Do you go to the bridge club to compete, or just sit there and watch the opponents play the hand? This deal is a great one for those pairs who like to compete … even when they don’t have their normal requirement of high card points. With distributional hands there is a guideline for when you have a legitimate opening bid (the ‘rule of 20’): But does that mean that you are not allowed to open the East hand? The “20” rule is a guideline, not a law that cannot be broken. Look at the East hand in the following deal:
Board 10 from Thursday 3/05/2018.
Dealer E All Vul
Would YOU open 1H? I would. If you were playing a weak 2H opening that shows hearts and a minor, would you open 2H? Nobody that I know plays our version of weak twos, where an opening of 2D shows diamonds and hearts. Playing our version, I would open 2D, the hand is about right for a vulnerable opening 2D. A weak 2H opening that shows hearts and a minor is also an option. I always prefer not to open good hands with a weak two, so let’s say East opens 1H. That of course is great this time, because of West’s huge heart support. If playing “Michaels”, South can bid 2H, a cue bid showing spades and a minor. After that, the bidding is likely to escalate to 4H EW or 4S NS, with whoever wins that auction being the winner on the score card.
Now let’s say East passes as opener. Does SOUTH have an opening bid? Or can South open a 2S that shows spades and a minor? I suggest South should open 1S, this time having the required “20” rule which says you can choose to open the bidding when the High Card Point total added to the number of cards held in the two longest suits totals 20 or more. Should West then overcall with 2H? Somewhat dangerous with that heart suit but he who dares wins, and if West does overcall 2H, East is going to keep going as far as necessary in hearts. Hard to judge these things, and you should always think about the saying that “the five level belongs to the opponents”, but in fact EW can make 5H with a bit of care (only one declarer did, but was in 3H!)