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Bold Bidding

By In 44th World Bridge Teams Championships On 19th September 2019


Snatching a brief glance at the Senior’s match between Netherlands and England I spotted this deal:

You could ask a whole raft of questions about this deal.
If West had simply raised to 5Picche would South have taken any action? If South bids 5{ could it suggest a two-suited hand, so North can bid 5Cuori and then pass 5Picche? Probably not, as South might have bid 5{ on a modest hand with a lot of diamonds.
When West bids 4Cuori what would a double by South mean – is it asking for a club lead?
Here South elected to bid 4Picche (not the universal choice when this sequence occurred at other tables – for instance in the Venice Cup Scotland’s Liz McGowan saw her partner pass 4Cuori and she led the QuadriA. When South followed with the Quadri2 she switched to a club for one down). Would you have been tempted to bid 5Picche over 5Fiori? No need if you can rely on partner to take a second bid!
There was nothing to the play in 5Picchex,-200, the par result.

I was toying with mentioning the fact that England’s John Holland was playing against the Netherlands, but Brian Senior pointed out that it would have been better if the Netherlands had been fielding a player called England, so I decided not to bother.

Would you consider passing with the East hand? Here East was constrained by the fact that it would have promised 11-14, 6+Fiori – looking at what is sometimes called a ‘Cologne’ hand (4711) I think I might have stretched a point.
As a result here it was West who took two bids opposite a silent partner, but looking at seven card support for clubs East felt obliged to bid 6Fiori, giving England 6 IMPs on this exciting deal.


About the Author

Mark Horton

Mark Horton British journalist and expert player, was Editor of Bridge Magazine 1995-2017 and now edits the free online publication A New Bridge Magazine. 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 to contact him. He currently lives in Shrewsbury with his wife Liz.