THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
A THIRD BID ALL SHOULD KNOW
Joni Mitchell said, “What I do is unusual: chordal movements that have never been used before, changing keys, and modalities mid-song.”
Her voice is not to everyone’s taste, but she has written some great lyrics; “The Circle Game” is my favorite.
Outside the tournament world, many players do not know the unusual response to make with the North hand in today’s diagram. After South opens one spade and West makes a takeout double, what should North do?
If West had passed, North would have bid three spades, a game-invitational limit raise. But when righty doubles, now a jump raise is best played as pre-emptive, showing four-card spade support and a weak hand. This, one hopes, will make life much harder for the fourth hand.
To invite game with four or more trumps, respond two no-trump. (This should be called Truscott, after Alan the deviser, who lived in England at that time. But it is often known as Jordan, after Bobby the advertiser of the idea in the United States.)
Note that any strong, balanced hand without four spades begins with redouble, promising 10 points or more.
Here, over two no-trump, East would pass and South would jump to four spades, keeping his club suit hidden.
West leads the heart king: four, 10, ace. South will probably draw trumps ending in his hand and play a diamond to the jack. East wins and continues hearts. South ruffs the third round of that suit, leads a club to the queen, discards two clubs on the high diamonds, and concedes one club trick.