Bidding Too Much


frs1016@centurylink.net

The prevalent style in competitive bidding is to bid when it’s your turn. Players emphasize obstruction: “striking the first blow” and making it hard for their opponents to bid accurately. Occasionally, the aggressors may find a miracle fit that produces a good sacrifice or a makeable high-level contract.

Dlr: South ♠ J 7
Vul: N-S 9 7
A Q 10 9 6 4
♣ K Q 7
♠ A 10 9 3 2 ♠ 8 6 5
K 10 8 5 2 J 6
2 J 7 5 3
♣ 9 3 ♣ 10 8 6 5
♠ K Q 4
A Q 4 3
K 8
♣ A J 4 2
South West North East
1♣ 2♣ Dbl Pass
3NT Pass 6NT All Pass

Opening lead — ♠A

Well, methinks people doth bid too much. I have written articles questioning the wisdom of undisciplined bidding. Throwing the auction into a tizzy may be great fun, but if your partner has no idea what your bids promise, he can’t act intelligently.

Moreover, when you enter the opponents’ auction with a weak hand — when they are more likely to buy the contract — there is a trade-off: You give away information declarer may use.

When today’s South opened 1♣, West couldn’t resist climbing in with a “Michaels” cuebid of 2♣ to show, typically, five cards in each major. That action had no debilitating effect on North-South, who barreled into 6NT.

West led the ace and a low spade, and South won and cashed the ♣A K. When West followed, South could assume that West’s pattern was 5-5-1-2. So South next let the 10 ride. When the 10 won, South took the king, returned to dummy with the ♣Q and ran the diamonds. He had plenty of tricks and made the slam.

West’s bid was a losing action in practice. (If West keeps silent, North-South may reach 6NT, but South will need a crystal ball to make it.) In my opinion, it was a loser in theory as well.

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