Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Shifting gears

Temporarily reviving an old partnership, I played a 2-day pair event over the weekend with Magnus Eriksson. Neither exactly remembered the old relay club system that we used to get to the Spingold semi back then and we went with old familiar stuff, the Swedish 2-way 1C. Midway through the event, I picked up:


Partner opened 1C (11-13 bal or any 17+) and I bid 1D negative. Now I had a choice when partner rebid 1NT showing 17-19. Should I pass, maneuver to play in 3C, invite 3NT with 6+C or just blast 3NT?

People playing 4-way transfer would probably start by doing just that, but we weren't playing anything that sophisticated (dropped the relay club, remember ;-).

I opted for the straightforward 3C-bid; invitational. This triggered a slightly surprising 4C bid in return! What!?

Well, this was great news. My hand improved by a whole lot and I cuebid 4S and Magnus jumped to 6C, making 7. His hand was:


He picked off a couple of offside honors enroute to all the tricks and a shared top. The 1NT-rebid may appear questionable in some people's eyes. But, it isn't that strange in the 2-way club setting with a stiff high honor, because a 1M-rebid is still 2-way and may be a 3-card suit with 11-13. 1NT gives partner a better picture although it comes with a price with both majors considering it was matchpoints; a better partscore could easily go begging now.

As it turned out, bidding the correct, value bid (3C) led to the optimal contract. When in doubt, that (i.e. the bid that strikes you as normal/correct) should always be your choice.

No comments: