A Bridge Phantasmagoria

      

 

THE THREE SUITER

The Acol System fails to cater for the strong 3-suiter with 17 plus points and Acol players simply pray that it will never happen. Being rather a rarity, it does not warrant a special bid for the purpose and one solution is to use the Acol Two Diamonds as 2-way - either an Acol Two Diamonds or a strong 3-suiter.

A relay response of Two Hearts asks for definition and opener rebids:

2S

4,4,4,1 with a major singleton

2NT

4,4,4,1 with a minor singleton

3C

a second suit in an Acol Two Diamonds

3H

a second suit in an Acol Two Diamonds

3S

a second suit in an Acol Two Diamonds

3D

single suited Acol Two Diamonds

(1) After Two Spades showing a major singleton:

(a) 2NT is asking and opener shows singleton and strength thus:

Points

Heart singleton

Spade singleton

17/18

3C

3D

19/20

3H

3S

21/22

3NT

4D

23/24

4C

4S

(b) 3C or 3D to play right there or, if exceptionally strong, opener could bid his major singleton

(2) After Two No-trump showing a minor singleton:

(a) 3C is asking and opener shows singleton and strength thus:

Points

Diamond singleton

Club singleton

17/18

3D

3H

19/20

3S

3NT

21/22

4D

4C

23/24

4S

4H

(b) 3H or3S to play right there or, if exceptionally strong, opener could bid his minor singleton

NOTE:
When 2NT asks for major singleton, club hearts and NT are ciphers to show a heart singleton and various strengths and diamonds and spades specify a spades singleton. When three clubs asks for minor singleton, hearts, NT and clubs indicate a club singleton and diamonds and spades show the diamond singleton and the points range.

All the foregoing is by way of introduction to the bidding on the under-noted extraordinary hand.

East-West game: South deals:

 

North
S K6
H 752
D AQ83
C 7652

 

West
S AQ9874
H 64
D 7652
C 4

 

East
S J1052
H J1083
D 4
C J1093

 

South
S 3
H AKQ9
D KJ109
C AKQ8

 

 

Bidding:

South

West

North

East

2D

-

2H

-

2S

Dbl.

2NT

-

4D

-

6D (end)

 

If you have done your homework, you will know that four Diamonds showed a spade singleton and 21/22 points, and so Six Diamonds from North had some justification.

West led off with ace and another spade. Meaning to discard the nine of hearts, South saw that the card that hit the table was the nine of diamonds. He had ruffed his own winner!

Maintaining a poker face, he had to draw four rounds of trumps and got the strong feeling that East had parted with a heart with great reluctance. As there was no explanation other than he was also holding clubs, South made the unnatural discard of a club, and four heart tricks gave him his contract.

“That was some heck of a play,” applauded North.

Without even blushing, South replied, “Well I needed time to decide which suit I should make my discard from.”

It was also fortunate that South did not have a proper knowledge of the Rules, because he was entitled to pick up the nine of diamonds provided he did so at once.

Before leaving this subject, here is a fine example of the system at work:

S AK96
H 4
D KJ97
C AK64

 

S 5
H J98
D AQ10862
C 95

 

2D

 

2H

 

2S

major singleton

2NT

 

3C

hearts singleton

4NT

Aces?

5H

2 aces

6D

 

The responder knows that opener must have at least 13 points in spades and clubs so the slam is on a finesse at worst.

 
      

by Carl Dickel