Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sad one no trumps

Playing 2/1 with a 15-17 NT doesn't mean that opening 1-NT when you have a balanced hand and high card points in that range is automatic.  There is some room for judgment. In the club game yesterday, there were two such hands, and I managed to get it wrong both times.  See if you can do better.

Do you open 1NT in first seat with this hand?

Reasons to open 1NT: You have a balanced hand, and points in the short suits. The spade suit is good, but not great.  You have no good rebid if you start out 1S.
Reasons to open 1S: It gets your suit across. The field will open this 1S and at matchpoints, it's good to stick with the field. You have no way to discover a 5-3 fit after you start out 1NT.

I opened 1NT.  On this hand, partner turned out to have 10 points, 4 hearts and 3 spades. 4S made 5 at every table after the auction went 1S-3S. 3NT went down 1 after our auction went 1NT-2C-2S-3NT.

How about this hand?  Would you open it 1 NT in 3rd seat?

I do have 15 high card points, but no aces and the texture of the hand is awful. I decided to downgrade it and open it 1D (can't open 1C and reverse either, can I?) showing where I lived.  Partner bid 1H and when I rebid 1NT, he rebid 2H.  2H played from his side went down 1.  If you had opened 1NT, partner would have transferred you to hearts and passed. Played from your side, the club queen is protected and the strong hand is not visible. Defense is considerably harder, and you'll make either 8 tricks or 9.

After the game, I didn't even wait to learn how we did -- I'm sure something awful, well south of 50%.

p.s. Bridge Winners polls on these two hands: and  I have gotten into the habit of posting hands that posed me problems. The comments and votes help me learn how to think about these types of hands better.

1 comment:

  1. You don't play Puppet Stayman .... I would open 1S if not playing Puppet Stayman!