THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
AN UNUSUAL BID FOR A RARE SITUATION
Jim Rohn, an entrepreneur and a motivational speaker who died in 2009, said, “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”
It is true that at the bridge table, producing an unusual bid might not be a good idea if it is going to flummox partner into making an error. But if you have discussed the situation before, you can safely produce the unusual.
Look at today’s North hand. You deal and open three hearts. With the opponents retaining a respectful silence, your partner responds four diamonds. Assuming this is natural and forcing, what would you rebid?
What does four diamonds promise? Many teachers use the expression “six and 16″ — at least a six-card suit and 16 high-card points. Also, typically, responder is very short in opener’s suit, especially when that is a major.
How should opener react? With no support for responder’s suit, he may rebid his own suit or three no-trump (if legal, of course). With moderate support, like a low doubleton (or perhaps honor-doubleton with an unappealing hand), he raises responder’s suit. But with good support (any three cards, or honor-doubleton and an appealing hand), he shows a side-suit singleton (or void).
In this deal, North should rebid four spades. And that is just what South wants to hear. He can now leap majestically to six diamonds.
Note that even after a club lead and trump shift, the contract is laydown. South takes one spade, one heart, eight diamonds and two spade ruffs on the board.