Find The Error

Bridge is a game of errors. Avoiding obvious mistakes is much more important than learning fancy new conventions. In this quiz, each problem contains a major bidding error. Your job is to spot the error and vote for it.

1. Dlr: West
Vul: All

 West East ♠ K Q 8 2 ♠ A J 7 6 ♥A 2 ♥K 4 3 ♦Q J 7 6 4 ♦8 2 ♣ 6 5 ♣ J 8 4 2
 West North East South 1♦ Pass 1♠ Pass 3♠ Pass 4♠ All Pass

CHOICES

 1♦ 1♠ 3♠ 4♠
ANSWER
3♠ Opener’s jump raise invites game and shows about 16-18 in support. West’s hand is a minimum opening bid and his correct rebid is only 2♠. Inexperienced players often get confused or careless and think of West’s 3♠ as “limit.” East has a perfectly normal acceptance to 4♠ (which has no play).

2. Dlr: West
Vul: Both

 West East ♠ K Q 7 6 ♠ A J 9 3 2 ♥A 2 ♥K 4 3 ♦A K 8 6 5 ♦ J 2 ♣ K 5 ♣ A 8 2
 West North East South 1♦ Pass 1♠ Pass 4♠ Pass Pass All Pass

CHOICES

 1♦ 1♠ 4♠ Pass
ANSWER
Pass. West’s jump to 4♠ is not a “close out” bid. It shows a huge hand — about 19-20 in support. How could he jump to 4♠ with less —responder could have a lousy 6-count. East has 13 HCP and is facing 19-20 in support. That is a total of 32-33, so slam is in the picture. East should use Blackwood — and the only issue is how to reach the excellent grand slam.

3. Dlr: West
Vul: None

 West East ♠ 5 2 ♠ A J 7 6 ♥A Q 7 2 ♥K 4 3 ♦Q J 7 6 4 ♦8 2 ♣ A 3 ♣ 9 8 4 2
 West North East South 1♦ Pass 1♠ Pass 2♥ Pass Pass Pass

CHOICES

 1♦ 1♠ 2♥ Pass More than one of the above
ANSWER
Both 2 and Pass are errors. West cannot reverse into 2. Such a bid shows at least 17 points. I have heard students say: “I don’t play reverses.” This is not an option!  A reverse is a reverse — like it or not. To read more on the subject, click the link. A reverse is forcing! Not to game, but for at least 1 round. East is not allowed to Pass. So, that is also an error. But, who says “2 wrongs don’t make a right?” In this case they do. West and East are a good partnership — as they both made mistakes which cancelled each other out and led to an okay contract.

4.Dlr: West
Vul: None

 West East ♠ K Q J 6 5 ♠ A 2 ♥A 8 7 5 2 ♥8 4 3 ♦Q 4 ♦K 9 6 5 ♣ A ♣ K 8 4 2
 West North East South 1♠ Pass 1NT Pass 2♥ Pass 3♥ Pass 4♥ Pass Pass Pass

CHOICES

 1♠ 1NT 2♥ 3♥ 4♥ Pass More than one above
ANSWER
3. To raise opener’s second suit, responder should have 4 cards. Here, East got lucky, because West happened to have 5 hearts. East should bid 2NT at his second turn. Then, West can bid 3 and East, knowing that opener has 5, can raise. What about West’s 2 rebid? It is correct. He is not strong enough to jumpshift to 3 (which would be game forcing).

5. Dlr: West
Vul: All

 West East ♠ K 2 ♠ A 10 8 6 ♥A Q J 7 2 ♥10 3 ♦Q J 4 ♦K 8 2 ♣ K 3 2 ♣ Q J 9 7
 West North East South 1♥ Pass 1♠ Pass 1NT Pass Pass Pass

CHOICES

 1♥ 1♠ 1NT Pass More than one above
ANSWER
1 (& 1NT). The 1 opening caused the problem. West had no way to show 15-17 balanced with his next bid. I suppose if I had to fill in for someone who erroneously opened 1, my rebid wouldn’t be 1NT. What would it be? Well, nothing fits (2NT would show 18-19). I suppose I’d lie with 2♣ — but why have to go there? Just open balanced 15-17 point hands 1NT to begin with. East would use Stayman and end up in the normal 3NT.