OPINION: Bridge Notes with Bill Kierath

WHEN your partner has opened the bidding in third or fourth seat after you have passed, one has to respond with caution. 

The opener is entitled to 'pass' any bid you now make, so make sure your bid has a reasonable chance of success. You should also keep in mind that your partner:

  • May have opened 'weak'.
  • May have bid to be lead directing in the expectation that the opposition will play the hand. 
  • The bid may have been a try for a small 'plus' score. 

Therefore, don't respond with a weak suit. You may be left in it. 

And the higher the level of your response, the greater the chance that you will be left to play it and, alas, partner may not have much in that suit to help you.

So, say in first seat you were dealt and passed S KQ2, H ️J643, D A9632, C 7.

If partner opens one club, bid one diamond. If partner opens one diamond, bid three diamonds to show good support. Do not bid one heart as one might if the response was forcing. You may be left in the heart contract and partner may not have many hearts.

If partner opens one heart, respond with a bid that invites game such as three hearts. (Some players may bid directly to game, but partner may have a minimum opening hand.) And if partner opens one spade, respond with three spades to show near maximum values for a passed hand. 

Avoid bidding diamonds. The final contract will be in spades and you don't want to be left playing in diamonds if and when partner is short in that suit.

Congratulations to Bathurst Bridge Club players who have won both the outright and the handicap competitions in recent events. 

The players include George Gaal, John Cox, Bob and Lyn Dillon, Phil Cummings, Bob Walkom, Noel Thomas, Lloyd Cleaver, Elaine Walker, Lorraine Johnson, Geoff Griffin, Elizabeth Tink, Bill Kierath, Denise Hourigan, Joy and John Adams, Doreen Kjeldsen, Chris Rosevear, Lola Peterson, Anne Hunter, Peter Horwood and Val Stuart. 

Bob and Lyn Dillon also scored over 70pc in a session, which is a fine effort.