Some­times a sin­gle is good enough

Cecil Whig - - & & - By Phillip Alder

An Wang, a Chi­nese-Amer­i­can elec­tronic en­gi­neer who died in 1990, said, “You have to risk fail­ure to suc­ceed. The im­por­tant thing is not to make one sin­gle mis­take that will jeop­ar­dize the fu­ture.” We have been look­ing at splin­ter bids, in which one player shows a good fit for his part­ner’s suit, at least game-go­ing val­ues and a sin­gle­ton (or void) in the suit he just named. (A pri­ori, a sin­gle­ton is seven times more likely than a void.) Typ­i­cally a splin­ter is a dou­ble-jump-shift, but it can be a sin­gle jump when a non­jump bid in that suit would be nat­u­ral and game-forc­ing. Look at the North hand in to­day’s di­a­gram. South opens two clubs to show a strong hand, North re­sponds two di­a­monds to in­di­cate a medi­ocre col­lec­tion, and South re­bids two hearts. What should North do? If he bids two spades, it would be nat­u­ral and game-forc­ing. So, a jump to three spades can be used as a splin­ter, which is per­fect here. Now South needs to find out about the di­a­mond ace. Since Black­wood won’t help (un­less North has two aces), South con­trol-bids four clubs. Then, when North con­trol­bids four di­a­monds, South, a reg­is­tered mem­ber of the Real Bridge Play­ers Don’t Need Black­wood Club, jumps to seven hearts. The play is triv­ial. South takes the first trick, draws trumps, and ruffs his two spade losers on the board.

Yes, you could use only con­trol­bid­ding via two clubs - two di­a­monds - two hearts - three hearts - three spades - four di­a­monds - five clubs - five spades - seven hearts, but the splin­ter makes life eas­ier.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.