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Mon 5th 1st Johan & Dave H 59% 2nd Ian B & Kenneth 54%
Wed 7th 1st Alan P & Terje 63% 2nd Arnawood &
Fri 9th 1st Johan & Terje 69% 2nd Niels & Jan 58%
Hand A Hand B With Hand A RHO opens 1♠, what do you bid?
♠ KJ9 ♠ AQ54
♥ QJ74 ♥ 10652 With Hand B LHO opens 1♠ and partner bids 1NT, what do
♣ K95 ♣ 8763
Bidding Sequence Quiz
D 2♥ pass 2♠ 2♥ is weak, is 2♠ forcing or weak. What is it if you play Acol
with weak twos?
On Monday 5th there was the usual chat over brunch.
2NT over partner’s weak two opening
Dave mentioned a hand where he opened a weak 2♥ and partner bid 2NT. Having not discussed the meaning of 2NT Dave jumped to 4♥ as he was maximum with good ♥’s. This got a good score and the conversation then turned to what 2NT should mean. There are two options here: show a feature or Ogust (show strength).
Somebody then chipped in that 2NT is the only forcing bid over a weak two. I stated categorically that this was untrue, a new suit being forcing. I went on to say that RONF (Raise the Only Non Forcing bid) was standard, is printed on the ACBL conventions sheets and it’s clearly explained in Max Hardy’s book “Standard Bidding in the 21st century” which I always have with me. My adversary then reluctantly conceded that I may be correct but that a new suit is not forcing (but weak) when playing Acol. I disagreed with this statement but did not have an Acol book with me. When I got home I looked it up in Eric Crowhurst’s “Acol Index”. Page 61 clearly stated ‘a bid of a new suit by responder is forcing for one round’.
Double followed by a new suit bid
The conversation then went on to take-out doubles. There was general agreement that a take out double initially shows a hand playable in the other three suits. However, I then had a disagreement with the same adversary about the meaning of a new suit by doubler when partner has responded in a suit (like sequence E). He maintained that it showed a two suiter. I maintain that it shows a single-suiter too strong to simply overcall. This latter statement is backed up in Max Hardy’s book, page 211, but the other opinion does seem to be held by Crowhurst’s somewhat out-dated ‘Acol in Competition’. In my opinion it is bad practice to double with two-suited hands – you are fixed when partner inevitably bids your other short suit.
The 1NT overcall Board 1 from Monday 28th
The 1NT overcall is a very informative bid - balanced or semi-balanced, 15-17 or 15-18 by agreement, with a stop in the suit opened. Unfortunately some people feel that they simply must double with a decent hand despite shape totally unsuitable for a double:
Dealer: ♠ 87632 Table A
North ♥ AK West North East(A) South
E-W vul ♦ 942 - 1♠
♣ AQ4 1NT (3) pass 2NT (4) 3♦
3♥ (5) pass 4♥ (6) pass
N ♠ KJ9 pass
♥ 10652 W E ♥ QJ74
♠ 10 - 1♠ 1NT (1) pass
♥ 983 2♣ (7) pass 2♥ all pass
And what happened? Nobody stopped in 1NT which would have scored a top; results were 2♥-1, 3♥-1 and 4♥*-2. 3NT stands a very good chance of making, 4♥ did not.
The bottom lines: -
- A 1NT overcall is 15-17 (or 15-18 if you prefer) with a stop in the suit opened.
- Do not double if your hand fits the description of a 1NT overcall.
- A 1NT response to partner’s double shows a stop and 6-9 points.
- Do not criticize partner for your own mistakes – East at Table A thought that his bidding was perfect and tried to blame partner.
Criticising the Opponents Board 2 from Monday 28th
It is not polite (and against the rules) to criticise the opponents unless they ask your advice. Expect to get written up if you try it with me. This time an opponent criticised my line of play. The criticism was incorrect.
Dealer: ♠ AK10 West North East South
East ♥ AKQ5 - - pass pass
N-S vul ♦ J109 pass 2NT pass 4NT
♣ K32 all pass
♠ 9843 N ♠ Q752 North passed the quantitative 4NT bid and played
♥ 43 W E ♥ J8762 in the reasonable 4NT. A ♥ was led and this gives
led the ♠J at t
♥ 109 At the end of the hand East criticized my play,
♣ J1095 This statement would have been true had a ♥ not
been led, but the ♥ lead gave declarer 11 t
And what happened? 6NT=, 6NT-1 and 4NT+1 twice, so an average.
The bottom lines: -
- Don’t criticize the opponents unless you feel that they would welcome your advice.
- If you do criticize an opponent then you should be sure that what you say is correct.
Dave’s Column Here is this week’s Dave input involving the best play for the contract.
North South You are South and it’s favourable vulnerability.
♠ 8742 ♠ AQ6 West passed as dealer but later overcalls 2♥ and then 3♦.
♥ A65 ♥ KJ4 You end up in 5♣ and West leads the ♦AK, plan the play.
♦ 83 ♦ 7
♣ AJ74 ♣ KQ10985
Dave’s Column answer Board 23 from Wednesday 7th
Dealer: ♠ 8742 West North East South
South ♥ A65 - - - 1♣
Love all ♦ 83 1♥
♣ AJ74 3♦ 4♣ 4♦ 4♠
pass 5♣ all pass
♠ 103 N ♠ KJ95
♥ Q10832 W E ♥ 97 (1) Negative, promising 4 ♠’s.
♠ AQ6 You ruff the 2nd ♦ and play the ♣AK, West
♥ KJ4 discarding a ♦ on the 2nd ♣. Plan the play.
West East You are East, declarer in 4♠ and South leads the ♣K, plan the play.
♠ 1094 ♠ AKQ876
♥ AKQ7 ♥ -
♦ 876 ♦ A532
♣ 954 ♣ A76
Dave’s 2nd Column answer Board 22 from Wednesday 7th
Dealer: ♠ 5 West North East South
East ♥ J98532 - - 1♠ pass
E-W vul ♦ KQ10 2♠ pass 3♦ pass (2)
♣ 1082 3♥ (2) pass 4♠
♠ 1094 N ♠ AKQ876 (1) A help suit game try
♥ AKQ7 W E ♥ - (2) West accepts and so cue-bids his ♥A.
♦ 876 S ♦ A532
The problem is how to get to the ♥’s. If the ♠J falls doubleton or singleton there is no problem, the ♠10 will be an entry. But what if it doesn’t?
The safest way is to give up a ♠ in order to make sure you can get to dummy. Win the ♣A and cash the ♠A and if the ♠J does not fall lead a low ♠ towards the ♠10,9. Somebody will win the ♠J and cash two ♣’s but that’s all. You win the probable ♦ shift and enter dummy with a trump and discard 3 ♦’s on dummy’s top 3 ♥’s.
Bidding Sequence Answers
D 2♥ pass 2♠ 2♠ is forcing in both Acol and Standard American.
pass 2♥ appears that some Acol players play this as a two suiter, which I most certainly do not recommend.