Locals play gorgeous convention


The two most important questions in bridge are: 1) what level should we play at—part score or game? And 2) which strain (suit or notrump) should we play in?
We are all pretty familiar with what to do when partner opens 1NT; for example, when you hold 8+ HCP and at least one 4-card major, then you can bid 2C, invoking the Stayman Convention, searching for the “golden eight”; OR, you can bid 2D, 2H, or 2S invoking the Jacoby Transfer; OR you can bid 2NT “inviting” game; and so on.
BUT …. what do you do when partner opens 2NT? In reality, everything remains pretty much the same … except that the HCP requirement is significantly lower! For example, in a 1NT situation, you need a minimum of 8 HCP. HOWEVER, you MUST re-set your thinking, when partner opens 2NT, because now you can do exactly the same things, but with as few as 4 HCP!
Earlier this month, two partnerships, Morgan Hill Residents Chuck & Carolyn Wilson and Lawson & Mineko Sakai, played at my Wednesday evening bridge club to gorgeously bid, and then beautifully play, this exciting hand taken from a Sectional tournament held last year.
In the example, West held an amazing hand totaling 21 HCP, a balanced hand, and no 5-card major, a classic 2NT opening. East held only a miserly 5 HCP ….. but East had heard enough! East realized that partner’s 2NT opening promised at least 20 HCP that, together with East’s 5 HCP totaled 25 HCP answering the 1st question ….. enough for game. Furthermore, East knew that partner’s 2NT opening also promised at least two cards in every suit, that, together with East’s six spades meant they held eight spades, aka, the “golden eight”, answering the 2nd question ……… which suit they would play in, namely, spades. Finally, East also knew that the hand would play better if the strong, 2NT hand, was the declarer so that West’s hand would remain hidden—and thus, be more secure against the coming attack by the defenders.
East’s mission was clear ….. East responded 3H, invoking the Jacoby Transfer, requiring partner to re-bid 3S—task 1 complete. East then signed off at 4S, raising the contract to game—task 2 complete.
Using this gorgeous convention in this somewhat unusual situation, both partnerships were able to bid and, most importantly, make their game contracts – well done Chuck & Carolyn Wilson and Lawson & Mineko Sakai! That was good bridge!
Good luck and good bridge.

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