“I never thought I’d see the day,” Cy the Cynic told me in the club lounge. “Minnie is getting caught up in the tide of modern bidding.”
Minnie Bottoms, our senior member, wears ancient bifocals that make her mix up kings and jacks, often to her opponents’ dismay. Cy has been Minnie’s chief victim.
“She’s playing weird conventions?” I asked.
“She’s opening offshape notrumps,” Cy growled.
Minnie had opened 1NT as today’s South, and North raised to game. Cy, West, led the king of hearts: four, deuce … and jack from Minnie.
“She thought she was winning the trick with the king,” I laughed.
“After we convinced Minnie that it wasn’t her lead to Trick Two,” Cy said, “I led the ten of hearts — fool that I was. Minnie won with the ace, led another heart and had nine tricks: five clubs, a spade, a diamond and two hearts. If she wins the first trick, no way she makes 3NT.”
Some players are willing to open 1NT with a singleton high honor. I would never do it.
You hold: S A H A J 8 5 D J 4 3 C K Q 10 9 3. The dealer, at your right, opens one spade. You double, and your partner bids two hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?
ANSWER: This case is close. Your double compelled your partner to respond, and he may have a poor hand and a poor heart holding. Still, your hand has some extra strength, and a raise to three hearts would not be outrageous. I would pass but would raise with 2, A J 8 5, A Q 3, K Q 10 9 3.
Neither side vulnerable
S 9 8
H 9 6 4
D A 9 7 2
C A J 4 2
S Q 10 7 5
H K Q 10 7 3
D Q 8 6
S K J 6 4 3 2
D K 10 5
C 8 7 5
H A J 8 5
D J 4 3
C K Q 10 9 3
South West North East
1 NT(!) Pass 3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — H K
(C)2021 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.