Responding to a Minor Opening

Neither side vulnerable
The bidding has gone:

1 Pass

In Bridge World Standard, the single raise of a minor opening is forcing for one round (the bidding must get at least as high as two notrump or three of the minor). It shows at least the values for a limit raise of the minor; responder is unlimited. The jump raise shows about the same values as a standard single raise of a major opening. Both raises deny possession of a four-card or longer major suit.

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

(a) 8 4    10 6 2    8 5 3    Q 8 6 4 2

(b) 8 4    10 6 2    K 8 5    Q 8 6 4 2

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

(d) 10 6    8 7    K 10 8 5 2    Q 8 6 4

(e) 10 6    A 8    K 10 8 5 2    Q 8 6 4

(f) 10 6    Q 8 6 4    A 8    K 10 8 5 2


8 4    10 6 2    8 5 3    Q 8 6 4 2

(a) Pass. You could try to deprive the opponents of room with a jump to three clubs. However, this sometimes helps the opponents rather than hurts them. Anyway, bidding after the reopening of a one-bid is a notoriously difficult area, even for experts. But the main reason for passing is that partner may be very strong, and he will expect more for a jump raise.

8 4    10 6 2    K 8 5    Q 8 6 4 2

(b) Three clubs. Here you have a little something, and can risk the double raise. While this may not keep the opponents out, it may make it hard for them both to get into the bidding and judge accurately whether to bid three or four of their best suit. And the risk from partner is not great here. If he bids three notrump, the dummy should not be a big disappointment.

8 4    A 10 6    K 8 5    Q 8 6 4 2

(c) Two clubs. This is a minimum for the single raise. The five-card fit plus side control cards (potential fast tricks) justify this position. If this hand were also suitable for a double raise. there would be too wide a raange for that bid (compare with (b)). Remember, opener must make an immediate decision about game.

10 6    8 7    K 10 8 5 2    Q 8 6 4

(d) One diamond. It is too risky to bid three clubs directly. Partner might have a balanced hand with only three clubs. If you bid one diamond before supporting clubs, you can get to the superior diamond fit opposite that hand. The weak raise to tvvo clubs ("showing the hand in one bid") used to be widely preferred to showing the new suit. However, in BWS, where the alternative is a bridges-burning three clubs, the balance swings the other way.

10 6    A 8    K 10 8 5 2    Q 8 6 4

(e) One diamond. This hand is just about strong enough for two clubs; ostensibly. this leaves room for exploration. However, the roads don@t lead to diamonds when opener has a problem distribution like 4=3=3=3 or 3=4=3=3. Since these are among opener's most common shapes, a direct club raise heads for the wrong strain much of the time. One diamond may occasionally allow the opponents to enter cheaply, but it will give your side a clearer picture of its combined assets as the auction develops.

10 6    Q 8 6 4    A 8    K 10 8 5 2

(f) One heart. This is forced by system, If the red suits were switched, it would be acceptable (in fact, desirable) to suppress the diamonds and raise directly to two clubs. In BWS, the major gets the nod even with a greater disparity between the suits (e.g., a four-card major and a six-card fit for the minor).

(Adapted from "Rate Your Own Game" in The Bridge World.)


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