Bidding agreements help sometimes
“The Big Bang Theory” has some funny lines. In “The Agreement Dissection” episode is: “Ah! Memory impairment: the free prize at the bottom of every vodka bottle!”
Bridge partners have agreements, mostly about bidding, but they are of no use if a partner forgets one. In addition, the basic system introduces its own restrictions. In today’s deal, for example, how should the bidding continue in Standard and in two-over-one game-forcing?
In Standard, South would rebid three hearts to show extra values and six-plus hearts. North would take control with (Roman Key Card) Blackwood and hopefully get to seven hearts.
In two-over-one, South rebids two hearts (because three hearts promises a solid suit). North raises to three hearts, and a twoover-one problem arises. Neither player knows the strength of his partner’s hand, except that it is worth an opening bid. When a major is agreed at the three-level, if South now control-bids four clubs, it shows extra values and the club ace -- a serious slam-try. With a middling hand, he continues with an artificial three no-trump. With a minimum, he signs off in four hearts. How should South play in seven hearts after West leads the club jack to dummy’s king? Declarer should play a heart to his ace, discard a spade on the club ace (do not draw another round of trumps), lead a spade to the ace, return to the spade king, ruff the spade jack with dummy’s heart jack, draw trumps, and claim.
Finally, although bidding agreements are great, you and your partner should spend much more time than you do now discussing defense.