Welcome to Basement Bridge

Weekly updates from Kit Jackson offering hints and tips for the modern Bridge player. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


"Watson!" The famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, was clearly in a bate. "Come over here at once."

"Of course, Holmes, of course. Whatever you say," I obliged.
"Look at this hand - go on look at it."
"Er ye-es, I remember. I opened 1D did I not. Was I remiss in some respect, Holmes?"
"Not at all Watson. The 1 D opening is mandatory. But what exactly was your plan, assuming I made a normal response below 2D?"
"Well, er naturally, I was going to re-bid 2D: weak-ish with a 5+ suit."
"Capital, Watson, capital." His eyes turned to me and glinted steel. "But you didn't Watson. Did you?" There was a soft breath of menace in the air. "You re-bid 3D. Didn't you? Very naughty."
"But the opponents bid, er, it got too high, oh Holmes I had to do something!" I sat heavily on a chair in misery. What had l done to deserve his opprobrium this time?
"The bidding was thus, Watson, was it not?
1D - 1S - 1NT - 2S - ???
At which point you rebid 3D. Not 2D, which, as you have previously pointed out, is the limit of the hand in bidding terms from your point of view."
"But Holmes" I went on the attack: "They bid 2S! I couldn't bid 2D! You see?" I felt pretty dam pleased with myself I can tell you. His voice was soft, silky and precise:
"I believe Watson, that you just admitted to me that you couldn't bid 2D in the auction as that spot had been bypassed by aggressive opponents. In which case - as you were unable to bid 2D - can you please tell me why in heaven's name you felt able to bid AT ALL?" His gimlet eyes pierced mine from two inches.
"If as you say you can't bid 2D then you can't bid. Your bid has been taken away. So just PASS! Why make up bids out of thin air? Why pretend to values you do not possess? And most crucially, why mislead partner? Why cause partner to make unwise bids based on incorrect information that result in -800? Hmm?"
I now saw that Holmes was right. He usually was…

Plan your re-bid. If events overtake your plans - PASS. Never ever forget that you have a partner and do not try and bid for them: just bid your hand. At the right level. Then partner will know what to do.

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