Trinidad & Tobago Contract Bridge Association
1NT Opening: Lessons 1 to 12
 
 
  BC 1 NT Opening Introduction

The bidding sequences shown in the 1 NT Opening Bidding Summaries (2 Pages)  are  not unique to 2/1 Game Force and is typical of any system using a 15-17 NT. These Twelve  Lessons deal with an Opening 15-17 NT and typical conventions used. 

This Bridge Clinic Program is based on a combination of 2/1 GF writers. The Core of the system is to Open 1NT as often as possible with 15-17 (18-) and use Conventions that allow declarer & responder to describe their hands. In this Range the ONLY REASONS FOR NOT OPENING 1NT ARE:
 

  • There is a Singleton or Void
  • There are 2 Doubletons which TOGETHER have less than One (1) HCP.
  • There is a 6 card Major
  • There are 3 Doubletons, in other words a 7 Card Suit.

These Specifications narrow Opener's Reasons for using a different Opening Bid, and in so doing make them more Specific in their Own Right.

  1.A Will We Bid Slam??

Lets start with a "big" hand which will use quite a few conventions to get to a Final Contract.

 BEFORE YOU LOOK AT THE FULL HAND ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS.

My Partner has 16 HCPS; 4, 3, 3, 3. What is Our desired Final Contract? How do we bid this Contract?

THEN YOU CAN LOOK AT THE 2/1 GAME FORCE BIDDING IN THE ANSWER. (Revised Dec 7, 2010 to conform with 14/30 Responses)

COMBINED HCPS: 17 + 16 = 33

BEST SUIT FIT: 8s

ADDITIONAL Dist. Points: 1 - Opener has 1 Doubleton. TOTAL POINTS: 33+1 = 34

DESIRED CONTRACT: 6

2/1 BIDDING: 1NT - 2C - 2S - 4C* - 4H** - 5C*** - 6C**** - 6S

* Roman Key Card Gerber (used after NT Openings)

** 0 or 3 Key Cards playing 14/30

*** Asking for Kings; GUARANTEES All 5 Key cards & Queen of Trumps

**** First Specific King; Denies K of  and K of  by by-passing 5D and 5H

FINAL CONTRACT: 6

  1.B Will We Make the Final Contract ??

Lesson 1.A described most of the bids shown. In this sequence North tells South he has 15-17HCPs 4-5, 3Key Cards SK, DA & CA (since he has the other 2) and the CK a total of 14 points. Already at the Six Level he selects 6S as the Contract hoping that a Queen and/or distributional points will bring in the Slam.

WITHOUT OPENING THE E-W HANDS, WHAT IS NORTH'S BEST CHANCE TO MAKE 12 TRICKS.

MAKE A PLAN AS DESCRIBED HERE

NO OF TRICKS REQUIRED = 12

TOTAL TRICKS:  4+ 3+1+2 = 10; Provided Spades break 3-2

Check to see if possible to make 2 additional tricks by giving up a maximum of 1 trick. This method generally more applicable in NT contracts.

In suit Contracts like this one it is better to check losers.

NO OF TRICKS DECLARER CAN LOSE = 1

LOSERS: 1 & 1 = 2

Check to see if possible to eliminate 1 loser. Looking at these hands North may be eliminate the Diamond loser by finessing W for the K. After pulling trumps which thankfully break 3-2 declarer must try the D finesse to bring home 12 tricks.

  2.A Jacoby after 1 NT Opening

 I have 16 HCPS and Open 1NT

BEFORE YOU LOOK AT PARTNER'S HAND ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS.

My Partner has 11 HCPS; 2, 5, 2, 4. What is Our desired Final Contract? How do we bid this Contract?

THEN YOU CAN LOOK AT THE 2/1 GAME FORCE BIDDING IN THE ANSWER.

COMBINED HCPS: 16 + 11 = 27

BEST SUIT FIT: 8s

ADDITIONAL Dist. Points: 3 - . TOTAL POINTS: 27+3 = 30

DESIRED CONTRACT: 4

2/1 BIDDING: 1NT - 2D* - 2H** - 3NT*** - 4H****

* Reponder: I have 5+

** Opener bids 2H as instructed

*** Responder: I have exactly 5 and 10-14 HCPS 

**** Opener selects the

FINAL CONTRACT 4

  2.B Plan and make 4 Hearts

As this is a suit Contract its is best to look at the losers. This is a bit tricky when the Long Trumps are in Dummy since it is more useful to count the losers in the hand that has the most winners.

Total Winners; 1, 4, 2, 1 = 8 Expecting to lose 1 Heart and A of Clubs

 East, Dummy has 1, 1, 3 losers  (provided Hearts break normally).

The Lead is 7 of Hearts; How do you make 10 tricks?

Plan to make use of Declarer's doubleton Club to get rid of one of the Club losers and score an extra trump trick in the "short hand". If the cards lay right it may even be possible to ruff 2 Clubs or even combine the  loser and the  loser  if the defender with 3 clubs is also the defender with the Heart winner.

Other possibilities of extra tricks is for South to have the K of Spades. Play low to the Q of Spades if south wins you gain an additional trick. There is also the chance of an additional trick by finessing the J or dropping the Q by ruffing the third round of Diamonds. Everybody is out of luck if none of these options work for the tenth trick.

  3.A A Texas over 1NT

My Partner South opens 1NT. What Contract should we play? Who should be Declarer? How do we bid the Desired Contract?

NOW LOOK AT SOUTH'S HAND. DOES IT FIT THE CRITERIA FOR OPENING 1NT? OF THE TWO HANDS WHICH SHOULD BE EXPOSED TO THE DEFENSE? WHICH SHOULD RECEIVE THE LEAD?

The answer gives the bidding and Lesson 3.B will discuss the Play of the Hand. 

MINIMUM COMBINED HCPs = 15 + 7 = 22

WORST BEST SUIT FIT: 9s

DISTRIBUTIONAL POINTS IN  CONTRACT RESPONDER'S HAND: +3 for 7card suit (Alternate to counting singleton/doubleton which might nullify HCPs)

MINIMUM TOTAL POINTS 22 + 3 = 25

DESIRED CONTRACT 4S

BIDDING:  1NT - 4H* - 4S**

* I have at least 6 Spades and 10 Total Points

** Opener bids 4S as instructed

This is called a Texas transfer used over 1NT at the 4 level. By agreement it is "ON" even over interference by Opponents.

  3.B Plan and make 4 Spades

As described in lesson 3.A, North, the responder, decided that opposite the 1NT Opening a 4Spade Contract should be played by Partner and A Texas transfer was made.

west Leads 8 of Spades. 

BEFORE OPENING THE EAST - WEST HANDS PLAN TO MAKE 10 TRICKS.

NO. OF TRICKS REQUIRED = 10

WINNERS:  7, 1, 1 = 9  Expecting Spades to break 3/1 at worst. Need to establish at least 1 more trick

 LOSERS: North Dummy has  2, 1, 1 losers. Need to get rid of at least 1 Loser  

The trump lead immediately takes away the option of Ruffing a Heart in Declarer's hand which would be risky if the trumps don't break 2/2.

Play for an additional H trick by guessing the location of K & J. Actually it this situation its best NOT to play the Hearts to try for an extra trick. If led by defense an extra trick is automatically created. Do you see WHY?

Estabish a Club trick in South giving up the A (and K if necessary). To do this Declarer needs to preserve entries into his hand and needs to give up a Club before pulling another round of trumps.  In the actual hand South easily makes 11 tricks by giving up 2 Clubs. By doing this 2 additional winners are created to get rid of 2 of the original losers. See HOW? 

  4.A Another Transfer. Shall I use Texas or Jacoby?

My Partner West, opens 1NT. Do I have enough to force Game? If so I should use a Texas transfer at the 4 Level. Should I just invite game? If so I should use a Jacoby Transfer then raise to 3 to tell my partner if he has maximum he should go to game. 

NOW LOOK AT EAST'S HAND. DID YOU MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE? CHECK THE ANSWER AND PART 4.B WILL SHOW BEST OPTIONS FOR MAKING FINAL CONTRACT

MINIMUM COMBINED HCPs = 15 + 9 = 24

WORST BEST SUIT FIT: 8s

DISTRIBUTIONAL POINTS IN  CONTRACT RESPONDER'S HAND: +2 for 6card suit (Alternate to counting singleton/doubleton which might nullify HCPs)

MINIMUM TOTAL POINTS 24 + 2 = 26

DESIRED CONTRACT 4H

BIDDING:  1NT - 4D* - 4H**

* I have at least 6 Hearts and 10 Total Points

** Opener bids 4H as instructed

  4.B. Was I Correct to Force Game? Can 10 Tricks be made?

As described in Lesson 4A. E W arrive at 4H using a Texas Transfer. Norrth leads the K of Diamonds.

BEFORE OPENING THE EAST - WEST HANDS PLAN TO MAKE 10 TRICKS

NO. OF TRICKS REQUIRED = 10

WINNERS:  2, 5, 1, 1 = 9  Expecting Hearts to break 3/2 at worst and giving up A of Clubs. Need to establish at least 1 more trick

 LOSERS: East,  Dummy has  1, 1, 1, 1 losers. Need to get rid of at least 1 Loser  

The Spade loser can be eliminated if you can guess where the Q is; Alternately get the opponents to lead spades. (Note to DEFENDERS: Beware of Opening up new suits for declarer!)

A better option is to try to establish Club tricks in West's, declarer's Hand. To do this you have to make sure you have an entry to cash the club(s) once established Win D lead play Club to Q. This is one situation where trumping in the "long" hand creats more tricks but in ANOTHER suit!

  5. A Final Contract Level a Partnership Decision

My Partner, North opens 1NT. With 8HCPs I am not sure if we have enough for game. Should I even invite or do I risk putting us to a Level too high to make? My choices are to pass or use stayman to find out if my Partner has 4and then invite.

NOW LOOK AT NORTH'S HAND. DID YOU MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE? CHECK THE ANSWER AND PART 5.B WILL SHOW BEST OPTIONS FOR MAKING FINAL CONTRACT

MAXIMUM COMBINED HCPs = 8 + 17 = 25

BEST SUIT FIT POSSIBLE for GAME: 8s since combined points will never reach the level of a minor suit game.

POSSIBLE CONTRACTS IF PARNER HAS MAXIMUM: 3NT or 4S

3NT: Negative factors - None; Positive Factors Ts and 9s

4S: Negative Factors - Relatively balanced Distribution. Positive Factors - One Doubleton

MAKE AN INVITATIONAL BID.

BIDDING: 1NT  2C*  2D** 2NT*** PASS****

* Do you have a 4/5 card major

**No

***I have 8-9HCPs and may or may not have a 4 card major

**** I have less than 17 Total Points

  5. B Partnership Decision: Make 8 tricks in NT

With a combined Total of 23 HCPs, it is decided not to try game. Declarer's 5 card Diamond suit makes the total points 24, still slightly short of the prescribed 25. West leads the 5 of Hearts.

BEFORE OPENING OPPONENTS HANDS PLAN HOW TO MAKE 8 TRICKS

NO. OF TRICKS REQUIRED = 8

WINNERS:  2, 1, 4  = 7  Expecting to give up a Diamond. Need to establish at least 1 more trick

LOSERS ALLOWABLE = 5   In NT contracts it is usually necessary to give up tricks to make tricks and a good approach is to track losers as you play.

With the Heart lead you have to expect to lose a minimum of 3 and possibly 4 Heart tricks when you lose the next lead. No choice but to try for 5 Diamond tricks immediately.

When the  finesse loses and the Hearts break 4 4 you have lost 4 tricks and still looking for an 8th trick. You still have to lose the A of Clubs, so you can't afford to give up a spade for example to creat another trick. Best chance is to play up to the K of Clubs hoping that West has the A.

  6.A Should I invite to Slam?

My partner opens 1NT If we have a Major fit should I invite Slam? Similar to an invitation to game a slam invite tells Opener to try for slam with a maximum. This is different from a Slam try and uses a Quantitative rather than Asking Bid. How do I find out as much as possible about partner's hand?

NOW LOOK AT WEST'S HAND. DID YOU MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE? CHECK THE ANSWER. PART 6.B WILL DISCUSS  BEST OPTIONS FOR MAKING FINAL CONTRACT AS WELL AS DESCRIBE THE BIDDING FOR A SLAM TRY WHICH RESPONDER WOULD USE IF HE HAD 17+ total points.

MINIMUM COMBINED HCPs = 15 + 13 = 28

POSSIBLE "GOLDEN" (8+card) FITS:    

DISTRIBUTIONAL POINTS IN SUIT CONTRACT:  +1 for Singleton Q

MINIMUM TOTAL POINTS 28 + 1 = 29  Relatively safe at 5 level

DECISION make a slam invitation with major fit

BIDDING:  1NT - 3C* - 3D** - 4D***- 4S**** - 4NT***** - 5S****** - PASS

* Puppet Stayman do you have a 4 or 5 card major

** Opener has at least 1 x 4card major. (An 8 card fit is definite.) 

***  4D Responder has both select one

****  4S Opener has 4 spades. (with Heart fit Responder may now decide that because of the quality of the H holding not to invite with only 8 card fit)

***** 4NT Responder is inviting a Spade Slam

****** 5S I have minimum and prefer to play 5 Spades. (With Maximum Opener could either go straight to slam or make a slam try by cue-bidding under 5S to find out if Responder can Cue-bid another suit below 5S)

  6.B Slam Declined, But can we make 11 Tricks?

With a minimum Declarer declines slam and selects the Spade contract expecting that partner has shortness in the minor(s).

If Responder had 17+ points he would have kept control by using normal stayman. Example:

1NT 2C 2S* 4C** 4NT*** 5S****

* Opener has 4-5 Spades

**Reponder Asks Roman Key Card (14/30) Spades Trumps

*** Opener shows 2 key cards + the Q of Spades

****Missing 2 key cards Responder would have to stop short of slam.

In both cases you arrive at the 5 level. Note that with an additional 2/3 points in either hand slam is very probable, and WEST should invite not try slam with 14/15 points.

BEFORE OPENING OPPONENTS HANDS PLAN HOW TO MAKE 11 TRICKS

NO. OF TRICKS REQUIRED = 11

WINNERS:  4, 1, 3,  = 8 giving up A of Hearts. Three more tricks required

 LOSERS: Declarer East  has  1, 1, up to 3 losers = 5

                 Responder West has  3, -2, up to 3 losers = 4 As often happens with NT Openers the "Dummy" should be reversed and the PLAN should be to eliminate 2 of Dummy's Losers. In fact Declarer must try to lose only the A of Hearts & Clubs.

What do you dicard on 2 Diamond Winners? How do you create 3 more tricks?

OPTIONS:

Ruff two hearts in Decarer's Hand and establish a club winner.

Always keeping in mind that you can only lose 1 Club, Establish 2 Club Tricks and Ruff one Heart in Declarer's Hand.

The latter works when South has the AQ10 or AQ or Q10 of Clubs

  7.A All about 5/5 in the Majors Responding to 1NT

The 1NT Bidding Summary describes 3 &  3 reponses showing 2 x 5+Card Majors. Which one, if any would you use here?  What Level and Strain(s) would you suggest to Partner who has opened 1NT (of course).

LOOK AT OPENER'S HAND AND COMPLETE THE BIDDING, THEN CHECK THE ANSWER. LESSON 7. B WILL COVER DEALING WITH THESE 5/5 HANDS WHEN THEY ARE VERY WEAK OR VERY STRONG  AS WELL AS GIVE HINTS ON HOW TO MAKE THE FINAL CONTRACT.

MINIMUM COMBINED HCPs = 15 + 7 = 22

MAXIMUM COMBINED HCPs = 17 + 7 =24

POSSIBLE "GOLDEN" (8+card) FITS:    (Opener may have doubleton in both majors)

DISTRIBUTIONAL POINTS :  +2 for 2 5Card Suits

TOTAL POINT RANGE : 24 - 26

DECISION INVITE

BIDDING: 1NT - 3H* - 4S**

* 6 - 8 HCPs, 8 - 9 Total Points 5+H/5+S

** Spade Preference/Length; With 10 HCPs in responder suits Opener decides to bid game although he has minimum

CONTRACT: 4S

  7. B 1 NT Responder Invites/Selects Level & Strain; Opener Executes a Plan

7.A deals specifically with invitational or game force hands with 5+/5+ in the majors. With very weak hands, < 6 Total points, transfer to the longer/stronger suit and pass. Opener will have at least a doubleton and even if there is a better fit in the second suit this will help to make tricks in the final contract.

With 14-16 Total points/six loser hand,  invite slam/slam try by using Jacoby to transfer to the longer/stronger suit then bidding the other suit at the lowest level. With Maximum and/or 5 COVER CARDS  Opener should investigate slam.

With 17+ Total point, 5 loser hand use the 3S bid then if Opener selects a suit at the 4 level ASK 4NT RKC BL. note that 4NT in this situation is Asking. Should Opener say 3NT after 3S indicating doubleton in both majors; 4C would be ASKING for Aces 4NT would be a Quantitative Invite.

THE ANSWER GIVES THE PLAN FOR MAKING 10 TRICKS IN THIS HAND. THE LEAD IS A of DIAMONDS

NO. OF TRICKS REQUIRED = 10

WINNERS:  4-, 3, 2,  = 9-  Giving up K of Spades & A of Clubs

 LOSERS: Responder South has  1+1, 1,  1 losers = 4+

Spade loser can be kept to 1 if they break 3 - 2. Good Defenders will try to reduce trump lenght in Dummy by pushing Diamonds. After ruffing 2nd Diamond avoid giving up a trick before establishing 4th Heart trick by playing A K and ruffing low H. If Heart break no problem. If not you'll be testing the defender's trump play. using the "short hand". With minimum in both hands 10 tricks will be a challenge.

  8.A How Do I Bid my Long Minor Suit after 1NT Opening?

With this 7 loser hand Responder would like to look for a short-cut to game. The 2NT Response is a tool which can give partner the information to decide whether 3NT is feasible or if to forego game in a 4 level minor suit contract or bid game at the 5 level.

LOOK AT OPENER'S HAND AND COMPLETE THE BIDDING, THEN CHECK THE ANSWER. LESSON 8.B WILL COVER HANDS WITH 6 CARD MINORS OF DIFFERENT STRENGTHS, AS WELL AS GIVE HINTS ON HOW TO MAKE THE FINAL CONTRACT.

MINIMUM COMBINED HCPs = 15 + 9 = 24

MAXIMUM COMBINED HCPs = 17 + 9 =26

DISTRIBUTION POINTS: +2 for 6 Card Suit

RANGE: 26 - 28 Relatively Safe at 4 Level

BIDDING: 1NT - 2NT* - 3D** - 3NT*** - PASS****

* Resp[onder has 6+ Diamonds

** Opener has LESS THAN A/K/Q + 2 Diamonds

*** Responder has AKQxxx+ in Diamonds NO outside Values

**** Opener selects to play 3NT

  8.B How/When to use Minor Suit Transfers; Safety Play

Mosr players would bid 3NT with these hands. The element of gambling is somewhat reduced as Responder is saying in this sequence I have six tricks in the minor can you stop the others and make 3 quick tricks? When Responder transfers and then goes to 3NT with or without acceptance, He is indicating the strong possibility of 6 tricks in the minor with no outside strenght.

Just like with Jacoby Transfers, with 6 of a minor and 0-7 points make the transfer to play. Note the added lenght required as the Contract is played at the 3 level. With Invitational and game strenght values (below the 5 level) that are distributed in outside suits, make the corresponding invitation/Game (3NT) bid.  With a 6 loser hand 15+ Total points make the transfer and either INVITE slam with 4NT Quantitative or TRY Slam by asking RKC REDWOOD.

BEFORE LOOKING AT THE OPPONENTS HANDS PLAN TO MAKE 9 TRICKS WHEN NORTH LEADS THE 10 of CLUBS.

TRICKS REQUIRED: 9

NO. OF WINNERS: 1, 1, 2 = 4 plus up to 6

In order to make this contract Declarer MUST make at least 4 or 5 Diamond Tricks. By Finessing the 10D toward South He guarantees 5 D tricks and makes the Contract 

  9.A How to bid with 5/4 in Majors

With 5/4 in the majors, Use Stayman to find a Major fit. SMOLEN is a convension used to show 5/4 in the Majors when 1NT Opener rebids 2 D to Stayman. Rsponder bids the 4Card Major at the 2 Level with Invitational Values; at the 3 Level to show Game Force Values.

What do you bid after Partner's 2D rebid in this Hand?

OPEN PARTNER'S HAND TO AND COMPLETE THE BIDDING. THE ANSWER SHOWS THE FINAL CONTRACT AND PART B WILL DESCRIBE HOW TO BID HANDS OF VERY LOW (<8 Total Points) VALUE AND VERY HIGH (> 15 Total Points) VALUE HANDS

MINIMUM COMBINED HCPs = 15 + 10 = 25

MAXIMUM COMBINED HCPs = 17 + 10 = 27

DISTRIBUTION POINTS: +1 for 5 Card Suit

RANGE: 26 - 28  Game Values up to 4 Level

BIDDING:  1NT - 2C - 2D* - 3S** - 4H***

* Opener denies 4 or 5 Card Major

** Responder shows 10+ Points with 4 Spades and 5 Hearts

*** Opener selects to Play Game in Hearts

  9.B Very Weak/Strong 5/4 Major Hands; Eliminating Losers

In hands which are very weak (<6 Total Points) transfer to the 5 Card major and Pass. There will be the rare occassion that there is an 8 or even 9 card fit in the other major. This "secondary" fit will help/augment making the final contract. However it is not worth jeapardizing what would be a safe contract most of the time for the odd occassion when there might be a better fit.

To make a slam TRY always use staymen followed by the 3 Level Smolen bid if partner has no 4 card major. Once Opener selects the Strain proceed to Ask. 4NT over 4 of the Major is RKC Blackwood; 4C over 3NT is Gerber.

To make a Slam Invitation transfer to the 5card suit and bid the 4card suit at the lowest level; Opener with 5 COVER CARDS should investigate Slam.

THE ANSWER SHOWS HOW TO PLAN FOR 10 TRICKS WITH THIS HAND ONCE EAST LEADS K of CLUBS.

NO. OF TRICKS REQUIRED = 10

WINNERS:  1, 5,1, 1,  = 8 assuming Hearts break and giving up A of Diamonds 

 LOSERS: Responder South has  3, 1,  1 losers = 5

With K Club lead a 2nd Club Trick can be established by giving up a Club to the Q. Plan to Ruff a Spade in Declarer's hand for Tenth Trick. Two Spade losers are eliminated as one is discarded on the Club winner and one is trumped.

  10.A Responding to 1NT with 6 Loser Hands

Any 6-4 Combination can be a 6 Loser Hand with as few as 9HCPs (1A+1K+1Q)provided that the points are in the 2 long suits. In this hand there are 6 Losers with 11HCPs so slam is worth investigating. Describe your hand by transferring to the long suit then bidding the other at the lowest level.

Now look at Partner's Hand and Complete the bidding; Should Opener accept the Slam invitation?

Note: Bidding explanation corrected in answer 2/2/11

Opener has 5 Cards which would "COVER" or remove losers in Responder's hand. The As of Clubs & Spades; The A & Q of Hearts and the Q of Diamonds. From the definition Outside As count as 1; (Outside Ks as 1/2); And any of the 3 top honours in the long suits count as 1 Cover card.

BIDDING: 1NT - 2NT* - 3C** - 3H*** - 4C**** - 4S***** - 5C****** - 6D******* - Pass

* Responder has 6 Diamonds

** Opener has Diamond Honour (Q) and at least 2 others

*** Responder has 4+ Hearts and a 6 Loser Hand

**** RKC Gerber Diamonds already the agreed suit from 3C bid. 4NT would be RKC Blackwood H the trump suit. Note that Kickback would not apply at 4H bid would be a sign off in the second suit.

***** Responder has 2Keycards without the Q

****** Opener asks for Ks indicating that all Keycards and Q of trumps are accounted for

******* No additional Ks or suit length that would produce 13 tricks.

  10.B Effective Communication with 1NT Opening ; Beware Bad Breaks

Opposite 1NT Opening, Responder can systematically describe his range and distribution in 2 bids. In general the 15 - 17 1NT range blocks/discourages interference more effectively than a Strong Club for example.

The Strategy is to use sequences that uniquely describes the limits on Responder's hand to arrive at the best level and strain for the combined hands. So that whenever Responder shows 2 suits as in this 6/4 example slam is being invited. Loser Count is a valuable tool in assessing Game/Slam viability once a fit is established.

THE ANSWER SHOWS HOW TO PLAN FOR 12 TRICKS ONCE K of Spades IS LED.

NO. OF TRICKS REQUIRED = 12

WINNERS:  1, 4,6, 1,  = 12  No Problem??

 LOSERS: Responder West  has  1 + 1/4  Loser

The only way East should lose a  is if all 4 are in North. Declarer could and must guard against all 4 Diamonds are in South by playing the Q in hand first. Mechanically playing to the double honours would be disastrous in this hand!

  11.A 15 - 17 NT A Pre-emptive Bid??

In this hand the Dealer East opens 1NT and East West bid and play 2in East easily making 8 - 9 tricks.

Now Look at the Opponents Hands. North South can easily take 11 Tricks in Hearts or Diamonds. How would you suggest that the Opponents get to their Contract?

 LUCKY North-South's would be playing against a Weak NoTrump and East would Open 1!!

The frequency of the strong NT Opening serving as a "Blocking"/Defensive bid when responder can find a "safe" place to play far exceeds the situations when the Opener lands in trouble. (The Weak Nothrump has its Strong points but that's in another system).

  11. B Let's Make 11 Tricks with Opponents Hands!!
Loser Count would be key to getting to game it these two hands; both are 7 losers and they have a fit in two suits;  Total point count  gets to 24.  Let's assume North South get to a Heart contract with North as declarer. East leads A of Clubs. Make a plan to take 11 tricks.

WINNERS: 1, 3 , 5 = 9 giving up A of Hearts

LOSERS: Declarer North has1 + 3 = 4 losers

Declarer has to Plan to  increase Winners/ decrease Losers or a combination of both to maximize tricks. It is not possible to increase the no. of Spade or Diamond tricks but by ruffing twice in one hand before pulling trumps would increase Heart tricks from 3 to 5.  With the A of Club lead plan to Ruff 2 Clus in Dummy before pulling trumps.

  12 A. What if the Opponents Interfere? LEBENSOLN

Partner Opens 1NT and RHO overcalls, LEBENSOLN proceeds as follows:

  1. Over double and 2C, which are very often artificial, systems are on and a double of the 2C bid is Stayman. Redouble of genuine double asks Opener to take-out. Otherwise:
  2. 0 - 4 : Usually breathe a sigh of relief and PASS
  3. 5 - 7: Combined hands have > 20 hcps but game not likely;
    • With strength/lenght in overcalled suit double for penaty.
    •  Compete naturally with 5+card suit below 2NT
    • to compete at the 3 level bid 2NT; this demands Opener to bid 3C and pass any subsequent bid below Opponents suit.
  4. 8 - 9: Combined hands have 23+ hcps and because game is not guaranteed a double for penalty may be the best option. However Opponents who dare to enter the bidding over 1NT generally have very distributional hands and a penalty double may yield less points than proceeding to game/partscore and choice should consider vulnerability.
    • With strength/lenght in overcalled suit double for penalty.
    • Invite game in 5card suit by by-passing it (if necessary) on the 2 level and bidding 2NT. Opener has to bid 3C now any suit bid on the 3 level is a game invitation.
  5. 10+: Combined hands have 25+hcps and it is quite possible that a penalty double would not yield as much as bidding game. LEBENSOLN checks for stoppers as well as 4 4 major fits as follows: 
    • WITH Stopper bid 2NT and after Opener bids 3C, bidding Opponents suit shows at least one 4Card Major; bidding 3NT is to play
    • With NO Stopper, NO 4Card Major bid 3NT. Opener can leave with Stopper(s) or bid 1st 4+card minor at 4 level, or bid 5+card minor at 5 level with max.
    • With NO Stopper and a 4Card Major cue-bid Opponents suit at 3 Level
    • With NO Stopper and 5 Card suit bid suit at 3 Level

WHAT DO YOU BID OVER OPPONENTS 2S OVERCALL?

MINIMUM COMBINED HCPs: 20

BIDDING: 1NT - 2S* - X** - P* - P***

 * Opponents Bids

** Penalty Double

*** Opener Accepts Penalty Double

  12 B More About Lebensoln, A Taste of DEFENSE

There are variations to the Lebensoln convention as with all others. The basic principle is to preserve the double for penalty. Lebensoln also has treatments over Natural Weak 2 bids and after Opener has made a reverse which are very effective; these would be described in their relevant Section.

In any Contract you Defend you try to defeat the Opponents and always minimize the No. of tricks they make. In a Doubled Contract there is a set target of the Minimum no. of tricks you must take similar to making a contract.

WHAT DO YOU LEAD now that your Opponents are in 2S doubled? HOW do you PLAN your defense?

Minimum tricks Required: 6

Trick in Hand: A minimum of  3 Trump tricks.

Aim to make a 4th trump trick and give your Partner who has 15+ Hcps the task of making at least 2 more.

In this hand the Doubleton Club lead works well because you find your partner's strenght. Any lead that gets Declarer ruffing early would maximize his loses as he may eventually lose trump control. In General with trump length you lead longest/strongest or try to find your parner's longest/strongest just as in NT; expecting to reduce Declarer to NT play. In this hand Defenders should take 4S+2C+1H for down 2; 500.