Bid not once but three times
By Phillip Alder August 29, 2012 1:00PM
Updated: October 1, 2012 6:05AM
Winston Churchill said, “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time —- a tremendous whack.”
Last week and this, I have been trying to make some important points about bidding. Whacking unsubtly, I invite you to look at the North hand. South opens one club, North responds one diamond, South rebids one spade, North continues with two diamonds, and South is still there with two no-trump. What should North do now?
Let’s analyze the auction. South’s one-spade rebid denied a big hand. With 18-plus points (and with some 17s), he would have made a jump rebid. (And I prefer that one spade shows an unbalanced hand. I believe that when balanced, one should utter the word “no-trump” as quickly as possible. But that does require using some form of checkback, like New Minor Forcing, over a one-no-trump rebid. Traditionally, one spade just shows a four-card suit and denies four hearts.)
North’s two-diamond rebid promised a six-card suit and 6 to 9 high-card points. And when South bid for a third time, he announced that game was still possible. So he should have had 16 or 17 points. Also, to have any hope of winning nine tricks, he must have been planning on establishing and running North’s diamond suit. If South were very short in diamonds, he would have passed out two diamonds.
With a near-maximum eight points, North should raise to three no-trump, a contract that makes easily with at least one overtrick.