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Bidding Battles

Bidding Battles

By In 44th World Bridge Teams Championships On 21st September 2019

If your bidding is as bad as mine, then there will be no shortage of deals where you are uncertain as how to proceed – the sort of hands that make good copy for series such as the Bridge World’s Master Solvers Club, or A New Bridge Magazine’s Masterpoint Press Bidding Battle.
I wonder if this problem from R20 might appear:

You have the South hand and the auction unfolds like this:

As far as I can see, there are five possibilities:

Pass The objection to this is that you only have one trump trick, so partner will need a decent number of high cards. On the other hand, the opponents are vulnerable.
4Fiori Reasonable, but it fails to convey any strength.
3NT You have a stopper, but the lack of a high card in clubs is a concern.
4Cuori This looks appealing – as apart from anything else partner might have four-card support.
5Fiori Aggressive, but hardly ridiculous.

Have you made up your mind?
Here is the full deal:

29 Pairs played in 4Cuori, 31 in 5Fiori and most of the rest in 3NT, the latter contract being easily defeated.
At my featured table South opted for 3NT, (as did his counterpart after a slightly different sequence).
Of course, any self-respecting Rabbi would make 12 tricks in 6Fiori!

About the Author

Mark Horton
Mark Horton

Mark Horton British journalist and expert player, was Editor of Bridge Magazine 1995-2017 and now edits the online publication Bridgerama+. At one time, his business cards were inscribed: Have Cards will Travel, but following the death of his most famous sponsor, the Rabbi Leonard Helman, he has tended to concentrate on his writing exploits (in 2018 he had five books published!). Anyone wanting to discover how to lose at bridge on a regular basis (and pay for the privilege) should feel free to contact him. He currently lives in Shrewsbury with his wife Liz.