None Vulnerable

None Vulnerable

Opponents cannot keep quiet revisited

When the opponents compete over your partner’s Notrump bid, there is no standard defense anymore. People play either Lebensohl or stolen bids and forget what standard used to be. As a result, a partnership must agree on a defensive strategy.A standard system for replying to partner’s 1 NT opener, after an overcall by an opponent, is as follows:- A direct double is for penalty. A must for any system.- Any notrump bid promises a stopper, 2NT is invitational and 3NT shows game values.- Any two-level bid is to play- Three bids are forcing to game showing a five card suit except one may bid a shorter minor at the three level with no stopper and game going values.- Cuebid is Stayman The bidding:North opens 1 NT with a balanced 15 points. East has a decent six-card suit and makes an overcall. East also has an excellent defensive hand against Notrump. He has a one-loser suit and a side ace. He is probably on lead, so lead direction is not a factor. However, saying all that, East decides to tell partner the suit with which they can compete.South looks at his hand and must decide whether a penalty double is advantageous. Down three for 500 would be a top board because North-South can only get 420 (for four spades) and 400 (for 3NT), however, South, with only one trump winner, suspects that only 300 is in the offing and decides to bid. South, with a game going hand and a four-card major, makes a cuebid for Stayman. This is always a safe bid, because even if there is confusion about what system is on, bidding opponent’s suit is forcing.North bids his four-card majors up the line and when South replies 3NT, North knows they have a four-four spade fit.Opening Lead: The ace of diamondsThe play:West plays the 10 then the two of diamonds and East plays a third round of diamonds so partner can ruff the queen of diamonds. East knows North can over-ruff, but he should make partner ruff anyways because the queen of diamonds could be a resting spot for one of declarer’s losers. Furthermore, a trump uppercut may be possible. If West ruffs high, it could promote a trump in East’s hand. Here, it is not possible, but it is still worth a shot.Declarer overruffs, draws trump and loses the ace of hearts making his contract.The result: Four spades makes for +420.———Warren Watson is an American Contract Bridge League silver life master and accredited teacher. The Warfield resident created the Kootenay Jewel Bridge Club with duplicate games on Mondays at noon.