23 February 2011

Maximising Matchpoints

Here's another hand in a long series where I switched off a little in the bidding. It's a 'bad hand' and not very interesting so it must be easy. That's a terrible habit to be in, I'm sure it costs buckets of matchpoints but here's your chance to help me out! There's no way I'm telling you what I did yet though, first you have to try!

K T 8
8 6 2
Q J T 6 4
T 7
Here's the auction so far:
It's worth pointing out a couple of things just so you can really feel involved. Firstly we're playing a 12 - 14 no trump and secondly partners 1 is forcing (still as unlimited as 1♣). I know this probably isn't what you normally play but that just makes it more fun. There's not much to say except I'm putting the hand to a vote:
Oh and did I mention, you're playing Matchpoints and you want tonnes of them!
Update: I bid 2♠ at the table and partner holding a 4216 with 17 highs bid 4♠. Would have been ok if the Q♣ could be found or the spades snapped but it wasn't to be. Bidding 1NT the first time might have solved this particular problem. To 'weakNT' I usually don't play these methods but you never get everything your own way in the system argument discussion.


  1. I like to bid 1NT with hands like these.

    Actually, let's face it, I like to bid 1NT any time.

    Second choice: 2S. 2C at IMP scoring but 110/140 could be great at MPs.

  2. HBJ : those in 1NT could lose a stack of hearts and if the top diamonds are missing go 1 off. However, in 2D you may be lucky and be restricted to 2 heart losers ( may be 3 ) and again two top diamonds. But that should be that. Your hand offers little unless diamonds are trumps. Next best bid is 2S which should be taken as weak sign off ( not necessarily 4 ) and be passed. If partner say comes down with AQxx...xx....xx....AKQxx, there's every chance of 8 tricks.

  3. Please upgrade your methods. It's not logical to play 1S as forcing. I teach my students to think of bidding as a dialogue. 1C - I have at least 3 clubs and between 11 and 21 HCP's. I don't have a balanced 12-14 as I would have opened 1NT. If you respond I'll start to more closely define my hand. Fair enough as a start to the dialogue. Over responder's 1D a 1S rebid needs to narrow things down. In a weak NT environment 1S says I have an unbalanced ahnd with at least 5C and at least 4S. My HCP are narrowed down to exclude the values necessary for a Jump Shift (G/F) so are expected to be in the 11-17 range. This "explanation" helps responder decide what to do next. In your example hand I think P is best by responder if 1S was not forcing.
    In the hand you provided - opener's dialogue is as follows: I have opening points and at least 3C (perhaps 2 in your style) My range is 11-21. Over 1D and opener's 1S rebid...the conversation continues..... Partner,I have at least 4C and I probably have 4S but might have 5. My range is 11-21. So what has the bidding accomplished? No delineation of hand-type other than not a weak NT. I'm not sure if your style is to rebid 1NT over 1D with a balanced strong NT or to bid 1S. In any event, by playing 1S forcing, you are wasting bidding space and not helping partner make an intelligent decision. Bidding is about describing your hand and assessing combined assets. You and your partner are reduced to guessing...and yes that = "fun" when you guess right...but it's not bridge.