Two Bidding Questions Answered

Thanks for the input of the many who responded - it should be valuable for all of us. Below is a summary of some of your answers and my own view of things.

Match Points
You are SOUTH

1. Dlr W EW Vul


Your bid holding:


This is a huge hand the moment partner responds 1S, but is it good enough to force to game? I don't think so, but a number of you do. At TEAMS it would be a no-brainer, bid 3D and force to game. But match points in a club session is a different matter. This deal came up on Tuesday 19-Apr4 at X-Clubs. Many Souths rebid 2NT, I shudder at that, but 2NT was not uncommon, but the defence took five club tricks and then conceded. I did not see any pair in 3S at our club, 3S being the bid I suggested when asked the question by someone who was in the South seat at the time (it was actually WEST but for this exercise I made her South). I have been trying to convince partners of the value, and reasons for, a three card raise when there is no better way to describe your hand. In this case, if partner has an absolute minimum and only four spades, 3S will probably still make more tricks than 2NT, and game will not be missed if parten has 5+ spades OR only four and sufficient HCP (say 8+) in which case she would bid 3NT. What was North's hand at the time? Not what you might imagine, it was:


For those of you who suggested bidding 3D with the South hand, you may have done OK if partner had ignored your game force and passed 3D, also a better score than 2NT since 3D made four. I am pleased to say that I have managed to persuade most of my partners that they CAN raise with only three cards in the right situation, but sad to say just a week ago when I raised to 3S with a similar hand and similar bidding sequence, he bid 4S holding xxxx in spades and the minor suits well stopped. He knows not to do that again!

2. Dlr W All Vul


Your bid holding:


I don't think many of us would PASS, but that is what I am told South did. Surely a raise to 2S is warranted despite the fact that South has East's hearts. Many of our more enthusiastic panelists would bid 3S because that is 'preemptive' but what really IS 'preemptive'? Surely the idea is to keep opponents out of their best contract, not to bully them into it? I believe that given this hand and the bidding, EW may or may not have a minor suit game, and if they do, it is likely that if South bids 3S, West will, encouraged by East's 'free bid' of 2H, bid 4C or rebid 4D, both of which are likely to be raised to game, unless East has overbid in the first place, as the East at the time had done. I think a bid of 2S followed by a double of 3D if passed back to South, is likely to buy the contract in 3S when EW can make 4 in either minor. Match points is a very delicate game, and there is more to preempting than following rules. What are you preempting against? Here, surely not 4H but if they somehow do land in 4H after a slower auction, great. That could well have happened at the time, since West had Ax in hearts and East six to the QJ, but preempting was not going to get them to bid 4H if 5D was on. As it happens 4D was all that made for EW and 3S was a make for NS, that is how delicate the play can become at match points.

Thanks again everyone,