e-Vil Files 17

Teams is coming soon to our club at The Hutt. Teams is a totally different game tactically to match points. Bidding and making games is the most important facet, but so is not taking undue risks. One of my favourite suggestions is ‘get in early and get out early’. By that I mean that it is fine to open a bit light when the time is right, but to stop competing when you know you are pushing it uphill when the hand does not belong to your side. Determine what is rightfully yours, and what you might miss out on, and bid accordingly. Totally different to match points when every hand has the potential for a good match point score. Here is a deal from some time ago, in a teams match.

Dealer S All Vul


As dealer, South opened 1NT. South did not want to, with that awful 12 count. But that risk had to be taken; get in early and hope to get out quickly without getting burnt. West passed, despite a six card diamond suit that might have been worth interfering with at MATCH points and FAVOURABLE vulnerability, neither of which was the case.

North had the perfect hand for a system that makes the most use of transfers and extended Stayman. North bid 2C, Stayman. East should have doubled, for a lead, but didn’t. 2D from South. West could also have doubled, but didn’t. North now bid 3D, which is ‘extended Stayman’ and tells opener that North is at least 5-5 in the majors and inviting game. Generally, this equates to about nine high card points, since with any more, North would no doubt bid game via a standard transfer sequence of 1NT-2H-2S-4H. South, despite having only the bare minimum 1NT opening and hearing North’s invite, decided to bid game anyway. Why? Because games are hugely important at teams, and North has invited game and has 5-5 in the majors with, presumably, most of the points in those two suits. South has three card spade support and the doubleton king of hearts as a very valuable card, and even with only a combined 20 or 21 count, game had to be good odds and justified at teams.

As it was, declarer actually made FIVE, +650 compared to +170 at the other table when declarer took a different line in 2S after a very much inferior sequence of bidding. The exact invitational sequence by N-S is possibe only if you play transfers and extended Stayman, but not too difficult is it?

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