Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bridge pet peeve #1

Do you have any bridge pet peeves? One of mine is this: Partner opens 1NT and you have a balanced 9 high-card points. You raise to 2NT, right? Well, I do, but most players use 2NT for something else, so have to start with Stayman.

What's so bad about that?
1. You reveal the 1NT bidder's hand, and
2. You give them a chance to double Stayman or make a cheap overcall

Suppose it goes 1NT on your right, 2NT on your left and 3NT on your right. What do you lead holding:
K J 9 7 2 J 10 6 3 Q 9 Q 8?

I held this hand playing with Kate in a Speedball Pairs on BBO tonight. The opponents went through Stayman and the 1NT opener showed a four-card spade suit.

It wasn't too hard to avoid the spade lead. Setting 3NT was worth 7.61 IMPs.

Raising 1NT to 2NT occurs frequently. Make that natural and figure out some other way to bid your diamond suit.


  1. For a change I don't actually agree with the premise - making a balanced invite is not that common, especially at imps.

    If you hold nine points, just bid game and let them try to break it.

    If you hold eight points, decide whether they are good or bad and jump to game or pass. You may miss the occasional game, but you will also catch them when they balance.

  2. HBG here:
    The main objective in bridge is to find that magical 4-4 fit in the majors. If in the process it reveals to a defender a good possible lead or one to be avoided, that the price players have to pay for embarking down the stayman road. Some players like the idea of banging 1NT into 3NT hiding their suits in the process. The premise here is 9 tricks are easier than 10, and even with a 4-4 fit in the majors 9 tricks may be the maximum available.Moreover, defenders are leading blind, which is often worth a trick. Anyway, don't view it as a pet peeze because some days bidding like that works in your favour...other days not.

  3. You have a good point that systems which needlessly give away information are bad.

    I agree completely with Paul 9 points is worth 3NT and 8 points is worth thinking about before bidding 3NT or passing. Especially since the opponents can't know till after the lead whether you have 24 or 29 highs.

  4. A good compromise system is to play 2S as clubs *or* a balanced invite. True, they might double 2S, but you don't reveal majors.

  5. Hi you know, I'm such a Bridge expert that I shall refrain from making any comments lest I dazzle your friends with a major enlightenment.

    Re your comment on Ocala DP: This little shop is about 1/2 block from your little, it would behoove you to get yourself down here and check out both places yourself! I mean, you really ought to see how well your bistro is being run! :-)

    Are you having a good new year yet?

  6. My guess is that you will find many more players who think you shouldn't play a natural 2NT ever than players who would agree to have a natural 2NT that takes up bidding sequence room.

  7. Re your comment on Ocala DP today: You're absolutely right. She saw me sitting across from her, and probably thought my camera was a gun and so she burrowed into that magazine holding her purse close.

    Meanwhile, sneaky old me, took her picture, not her purse! :-)

  8. We just got new cell phones. Lois Anne got a small one that works really well and she loves it. Dumb me got an Android which can do everything except cook breakfast! I "had" to have it because I could do a GPS on the golf courses I play which would give me the yardages I needed.

    It's big, clunky, and way more phone than I need. In fact, I hate phones. Turns out the GPS thing doesn't work too well in bright sun. So now I'm stuck with this phone and nobody calls me anyway!

    Sheesh, what a moron!