Reopening a One-Bid

Neither side vulnerable
The bidding has gone:

1 PassPass

Bridge World Standard has made some clarifications in the awkward area of reopening a one-bid. For example, natural reopenings of one and two notrump show, respectively, 10-14 and 18-19 points. With an in-between hand, you double, intending to make a minimum rebid in notrump if convenient (if it's not convenient, you have to pass partner's response). One twist to watch out for is that the uniform use of cue-bids in direct and reopening positions was voted down. Thus, although a cue-bid directly over an opposing one-bid is Michaels, this method is not used in reopening position (where a cue-bid is sometimes needed to avoid an unwelcome penalty pass from partner, which is much more likely than a penalty pass after a direct-position double).

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

(a) A 10 5   K 9 6   Q 8 4   Q 10 8 6

(b) A 10 5   K 9 6   A Q 8   Q 10 8 6

(c) A 10 5   K 9 6   A Q 8   A Q 10 8

(d) A 5   K 9 8 6   A 4   10 8 6 4 2

(e) Q 10 6 5 4   K J 7 4 2   4   K 5

(f) A Q 10 6 5   K J 7 4 2   4   A 10


A 10 5   K 9 6   Q 8 4   Q 10 8 6

(a) One notrump. You might decide to pass out one club with these cards (there is a fair chance opener has only three, and defending one club could easily be your best spot), but it is too extreme a position to pass out one diamond. You might miss game, and diamonds might play decently for East-West.

A 10 5   K 9 6   A Q 8   Q 10 8 6

(b) Double. You are too strong for one notrump, so you must double, intending to rebid one notrump if partner bids one of a major. If partner bids two clubs, you will have to guess what to do. Fortunately, that is unlikely.

A 10 5   K 9 6   A Q 8   A Q 10 8

(c) Two notrump. This awkward action may get you too high, and has the secondary disadvantage of crowding the auction. However, there is no decent alternative. If you double, you figure to face a worse position on the next round (since you can no longer describe your hand accurately with any notrump rebid).

A 5   K 9 8 6   A 4   10 8 6 4 2

(d) One notrump. This is unpleasant, but consider the altematives. Pass? "Impossible" at matchpoints with sound values and short diamonds. Double? You have no way to get out of spades if partner bids them (and what do you expect him to bid?). Two clubs? No values; no suit; no score. One heart? Within tolerable bounds, but this is not the sort of four-card suit you are anxious to take home to mother.

Q 10 6 5 4   K J 7 4 2   4   K 5

(e) One spade. It is poor tactics to pass, so you must take the risk of misleading partner by bidding (and planning to keep on bidding too, if necessary, to get your other suit in) without much in the way of defensive strength. However, that's a risk that must be taken, especially at matchpoints.

A Q 10 6 5   K J 7 4 2   4   A 10

(f) One spade. It's unfortunate, but you must take the same action with both (e) and (f). Note that two diamonds (which is not Michaels) is unsuitable in both cases. There are still many cases in which reopening actions can conceal a very wide range of strength. You hope to be able to clarify on the next round, but in some sequences your second action still may encompass a wide range. This is a basic problem of reopening sequences because they cover so much more territory than direct actions--in direct position, you can pass with marginal hands; in reopening position, such action is final and therefore often unsuitable.

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


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