This column is designed to help you keep your bidding in practice. It emphasized using the methods in Bridge World Standard.


by Beverly Kraft

Neither side vulnerable
The bidding has gone:

1 NTPass
2 *Pass2 Pass

*transfer to hearts

Jacoby (two-level) and Texas (four-level) transfers are integral parts of the Bridge World Standard notrump structure. The one-notrump opening involves a degree of judgment with a range of a "strong" 15 to a "weak" 18 points. After a Jacoby transfer, opener should bid above two of responder's suit only with a good hand and at least four-card support. (Going down at the three level opposite a very weak hand may not be bad when there is a nine-card fit, because the opponents will often have a nearby makable contract.)

Responder can exercise judgment when planning the auction by evaluating hands with features that do well opposite a strong, balanced hand--extra length in at least one suit, many intermediate cards, controls in several suits--as worth more than their raw pointcount.

As South, what call do you make with each of the following:

(a) A 9   K 10 9 7 2   Q 10 8   8 3 2

(b) K 10   K 9 8 5 2   A Q   A 9 7 3

(c) —   K 8 5 4 2   A Q 9 6   K 10 8 2

(d) K Q 8   K J 10 8 7 5   8 2   A 8

(e) K 10 4   A Q 10 9 5 4   8   K 10 3

(f) A J 8 3   K J 4 3 2   8 7   4 2


A 9   K 10 9 7 2   Q 10 8   8 3 2

(a) Three notrump. This hand is minimum in high cards for a game-force, but the intermediates improve the hand enough for you to take the pressure off the partnership. North can now evaluate his degree of fit and choose between notrump and hearts.

K 10   K 9 8 5 2   A Q   A 9 7 3

(b) Four notrump. Your hand is worth a high-card slam-invitation, and you have the option of bidding it directly or showing clubs first along the way. As your clubs are weak and your short suits strong, a direct, quantitative four notrump is more likely to lead partner to the winning decision. (However, it would be only mildly inaccurate to bid three clubs, intending to raise three notrump to four.) Concealing your second suit does not mean that you cannot reach six clubs. Partner may introduce clubs himself when accepting the invitation, and he knows he cannot expect four strong ones from you.

—   K 8 5 4 2   A Q 9 6   K 10 8 2

(c) Three diamonds. A splinter jump to three spades suggests a one-suiter, typically 1=6=3=3, so it is not appropriate. When you have another suit, it must be shown directly. Which suit should you show? This is not an up-the-line situation, because if you bid three clubs, three diamonds by opener over three clubs would not be an attempt to play diamonds--rather, it would be a feature-showing bid that temporarily suggests concern about spades for notrump purposes. Therefore, you may as well bid your stronger minor. If North bids three notrump, you will have to guess between burying the clubs and finishing bidding out your hand, both reasonable approaches.

K Q 8   K J 10 8 7 5   8 2   A 8

(d) Four hearts. This is a mild slam-try; it usually denies a side singleton (as you did not splinter). Opener will look at his side controls, degree of trump fit, and overall playing strength in deciding whether to continue. If you had wanted to reach four hearts without inviting a slam, you would have started with a Texas transfer, jumping to four diamonds over one notrump.

K 10 4   A Q 10 9 5 4   8   K 10 3

(e) Four diamonds. This is a satisfactory hand for an "autosplinter," a jump in support, so to speak, of your own long, decent suit. Partner will determine the degree of duplication in diamonds when deciding whether to move toward slam. Note that an appropriate minimum with opener, such as,

A 9 3   K J   J 10 9 7   A Q J 2

produces a laydown six hearts. Indeed, that is a good criterion for determining when you are worth a slam try: Does a perfect minimum opposite yield a (near-) laydown slam? If so, invite.

A J 8 3   K J 4 3 2   8 7   4 2

(f) Two spades. This is the sequence for invitational-strength hands with five hearts and four spades. However, the two-spade bid is forcing for one round (it may be preparatory to showing game-going strength, or a slam-try, with 4=5=3=1, 4=5=1=3, 4=6=x=y, and so forth), so it is a good idea to be full value. Opener will temporarily presume the invitational hand, and will attempt to set the contract by bidding two notrump, three hearts or three spades with a minimum, or game in any of the three strains (or an investigatory three of a minor) with a maximum. In contrast, to invite game with five spades and four hearts, you would start with two clubs, then rebid two spades over a two-diamond reply or raise a major-suit bid to the three or four level.