Wow. 17 responses.
This comes from an appeals case in Chicago.
CHO tanked before bidding only 2; he had
a 12-count (!). The opener rebid 2NT and
argued that it was automatic. While reviewing
the case, I agreed with him, but I was
very surprised when the directors polled some
players and found about a 50/50 split
between passing and bidding 2NT. I figured
I'd check. Looks like the poll was right.
- [Pass.] There are 2 possible hands for partner:
1. A bad raise to 2 Spades.
2. A hand limited to about 9 to a bad 10 points with a doubleton spade.
This is matchpoints, I would pass, and no I don't think it is close.
For all the good hands, there are many many more bad ones.
- [2NT.] I presume that we must be playing weak no trumps
[In fact, that was the case. --Jeff]otherwise I cannot imagine
why I did not open this 1NT (not quite good enough to open 1 and
bid 2NT over forcing NT, but, it is close).
I would look at my opponents (all three of them) and then consider
bidding 2NT (nothing else is reasonable). I think I would bid more
often then pass.
- 2NT. By HCP, it is close, but by honor clusters
it isn't. The 10, 9 and even 8 offer additional protection.
Aces on the outside will give fast access to additional tricks
if stretching to 3NT it doesn't take much to make...
Jx Kxx xxxxx Axx
- [Pass.] If you want partner to respond to your openings
with any hint of aggression, you absolutely, positively
have to pass this hand. You can't risk going minus on
this deal on the 5- to 10-per-cent chance game will
make opposite a suitable hand.
If you go on, partner will always be worried about
you hanging him when he responds 1NT on less than
[That's probably not an issue this time. The opponents
haven't bid and some of the time that partner responds
real light it's because he's short in spades. He'll
then pass 2, having improved the contract from his
perspective. Sometimes partner has a Yarborough
with a fit, but 3 down two may still win the
board; it doesn't matter that we could have
got out for -50. --Jeff]
- [2NT.] I think this one is rather close. Playing the
delayed 2 as 6 to 10 (sort of the standard range) then the 1
opener should generally try 2NT with 16 or 17. I don't
have connected cards, but I do have above average
spots. Yes, 2NT could get us too high, but it might
get us to a making game. I'll try 2NT, and think that
it's even more clear if it were IMPs (even NV). A
decent holding by pard might make NT a superior
- I think it's close between pass and 2NT.
At matchpoints I'd pass.
- Open 1NT to avoid this obvious problem?
- [Pass.] This looks vaguely like a deal from an appeal...
[Vaguely? I copied it spot for spot! --Jeff]
If so is it relevant that you are playing weak NT
and claim that bidding 2NT now shows 15-17 or 16-17?
[No. Playing 15-17 NTs, 2NT now shows 16-17ish. --Jeff]
Regardless I would not bid on, but if I could be presauded that
2NT here was systemic that might be different.
[Anyone who says, "I have to bid that because it's
our system," is full of it. --Jeff]
If it is not the appeal hand and I am playing standard I pass and consider
it close make my 10 the J and I bid 2NT (of course I would bid 2NT
- [2NT.] The modern view appears to be to open 1NT and then you
don't have this problem (but, of course, you might lose your 9 card spade fit.)
I haven't really decided what I think about all that. I tend to be
whimsical, opening 1NT some of the time and 1M others (particularly with
a weak 5 card suit).
But having opened a not unreasonable 1, I think I would now choose to
rebid 2NT. You have a lot of really nice spot cards. At matchpoints, I
have some sympathy for the low road pass but partner could easily have
enough for game. Bidding is a little bit more dangerous if partner is
apt to bid 1NT with 3 spades and a really bad hand. These are my only
choices. Bidding 3NT or 3 is just way too much. Yeah, I think it is
kind of close between 2NT and pass. In a team game I would definitely
bid 2NT. I would score it something like 2NT=9, P=6, 3=2, anything else 0.
- Very close; but I'm swayed by the spots and will bid 2NT at
both MPs and IMPs.
I also take the inference that with a bad hand and 2=x=x=4 partner would
pass because he is scared I would bid again.
- [2NT] I think it's close. I think there are two reasonable
options, 2NT and pass. I like my hand for NT play so I bit 2NT.
- [2NT] I hate to say it, because it is an indictment of my sanity,
but I agree completely with Mark. [Maybe that's why Mark has to dissent
so often on ACs! Agreeing with him is an indictment of one's sanity! --Jeff]
I would bid 2NT. If partner has the bad raise to 2, one of the
several hands I'm worried about, we'll have to play 3, down a few.
A good partner will have Ax Jxx Qxxxx Qxx, and we'll roll into a good
game. If I pass on these hands, partner will start to rebid 2NT
with his flat nine counts, and that way madness lies.
- [Pass.] I open 1NT with this hand (5 spades and not enough to raise
a 1NT response to 2NT). Notwithstanding, I think it is a close
decision AT IMPS. At matchpoints we are paid to go +; pass is
- 2NT even at MPs. The spots offer a fair amount of protection. If I
wasn't prepared to offer up 2NT, I'd have started with 1NT.
- [Pass.] If it were IMPs I think the presence of the good pips
(unsupported J is awful but J9x offers some prospects and it is less
likely that they will lead that suit albeit lead comes through you in NT)
2NT is indicated.
However, the MP angle for a positive is huge to pass.
Generally I am not a big fan of 1NT openings on good 5S suits and this
hand is very suit oriented (controls etc) but it would have got your hand
off your chest in one bid.
Responder's possible hands as I understand your parameters are:
a) 3 card raise too weak for a constructive raise
b) 2 card non-raise with < invitational: up to a fair 10 HCP with no 6 card suit
c) misfit with singleton and no 6 card suit eg 1-5-5-2
Depending on how weak you define your constructive raise (and I have seen
some US styles and comments in MSC which suggest that to an Acol/Romex style
their 3 card constructive raise would be a limit raise to 3!!) a) is
unlikely to amount to game: at most 2 cover cards, and 3 level could be
Top end of b) will have a fair to good prospect of game, but lower end will
be too high already a reasonable gamble at IMPs (just given vul) but not
Advantage of c) is that you may find a better contract.
None of this augurs well for the bid of 2NT at MPs and just puts you behind
those who opened 1NT on the hand- so hope for type a) or lower end of b) or
opponents' cards distributed unfavourably by passing (and doing it in tempo
might even see them balance???)
- [Pass] If I were playing a 15-17 NT, I would open this hand 1NT
at any form of scoring, and I don't think it's close.
This auction is why we play the 2 gadget. The given sequence shows
about 16-17, about a king under a 2NT rebid.
I think I'd bid 2NT at IMPs. I would not be surprised to be in 2NT
or 3NT at each table at IMPs, pushing the board at -100. In my regular
partnerships we stretch to invite, but not to accept, so I'm not going
to be raised on any seven HCP or a ratty eight count.
My first instinct was 2NT, and three years ago that would have been
my bid. However, it needs a near perfecto from partner to be right.
It seems that the ratio of partner's unfavorable hands to favorable ones
is high, so passing looks right at matchpoints.
Final decision: Pass. I don't think it's close, but I also don't
think it's clearcut, and I wouldn't criticize partner for bidding 2NT.
- [Pass] IMPs first: If you bid 2NT and pard calls 3NT you're
comfortable with that. If he passes 2NT.......uneasy? Vul at IMPs, 2NT
90%, Non-vul, 60%. Pairs, any vul.: Pass 60%, 2NT 40%.
Opening 1NT is sometimes better than having to rebid J9x
after pard's forcing NT?
When in doubt at pairs, go for the + score, and underbid 5-3-3-2's.
(If my partner has Jx, I bid 2NT. [That may be a dangerous
- JEFF AT THE TABLE
- Wasn't there, but I thought 2NT was completely normal.
Most thought it close.
Five would open 1NT. Of course, in the actual event,
that was impossible, as it showed 12-14.
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
- I don't play much matchpoints, and maybe
this is one reason why I don't win matchpoint events.
At first, I thought this was a completely obvious 2NT
bid, but the panel has convinced me that it's a toss-up.
One unmentioned reason in favor of 2NT (though JJ alluded
to it) is that 2NT may outscore 2. We probably have
roughly 23-24 HCP and 7 spades. It wouldn't surprise
anyone if each contract made exactly 8 tricks, would it?
I wouldn't be surprised to see 7 tricks in NT and 8 in
spades, either, but 2NT doesn't have to be an inferior
contract to 2, even if partner passes. In any case,
sometimes 2NT will do better than 2. Add in 3NT's
making sometimes and it looks awfully close, even at
Of course, at IMPs, 2NT is mandatory. You can't afford
to miss games at IMPs, even white. Maybe I ought to
have capitalized "matchpoints" in the problem setting.
Whether to open 1NT with a five-card major is an
open question. My personal style is to open very
few five-card majors 1NT, so I wouldn't, nor am
I bothered by rebidding 2. Since I play 2 as
artificial after 2, I'm happy to go out of my
way to start these sequences. Of course, as Kent
mentions, playing the 2 gadget, 1-1NT; 2-2
shows at most a poorish 8-count, so passing is easy
in that context. Besides, my partners play the
cards just fine, so I don't worry about being
dummy with hands like this.