* Posted 23 April *

Query received on 4-Feb-2019 from John Barlow, Durban
We play the following weak 2H or 2S opening bid as follows:

Vulnerable
2H alerted as weak 6-10 H and another both 5 card suits
2S alerted as weak 6-10 S and a minor both 5 card suits

Not Vulnerable
2H alerted as weak 5-9 HCP H and another but either suit may be 4 and the other 5
2S alerted as weak 5-9 HCP S and a minor but either suit may be 4 and the other 5

We have been queried on legality of 2H non-vulnerable possible being only a four card suit.

I would be pleased to have your comments on the above.


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REPLY - Regarding your query this is what we (SABF) allow -

Where you promise both majors or both minors, any 5-4 is allowed.
This includes
the "Ekrens" 2D opening which shows both majors, weak;
Cappelletti or Hamilton over 1NT where 2C (or 2D) shows both majors;
Michaels, where a 2D cue bid over 1D shows both majors;
Unusual 2NT (over 1M or 1NT) showing both minors;
NT overcall over 1C precision showing the minors.

Where you promise a known major and an unspecified minor, the anchor major must be 5 and the other 4+ is allowed.
This includes
Cappelletti or Hamilton where 2M over 1NT = known M+m;
Michaels where 2M cue over 1M = OM + m (OM = other major);
Muiderberg 2's (similar to what you are playing, vul)
CRASH over a strong club system.

The Wilkosz convention (2D opening) is specifically verboten as it is a Brown Sticker or HUM convention. Here, neither the major nor the second suits are known initially!

So to answer your query, at vulnerable you are OK, but when you are non-vulnerable you must adapt your anchor major length to 5 please. The other suit can be 4, by the way. The 6-10 and 5-9 ranges you use are perfectly legit.


Query received on 2-Apr-2019 from Leigh Thackwray, JHB
Just a quick question: Is it true that partner is not allowed to alert any call after 4NT? This never actually came up as an issue but one of our playing opposition partners said that this is so.

Please clarify.

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REPLY - Yes, and this is internationally true. The World Bridge Federation (WBF) have decreed that the thought processes - when in a slam exploration auction above 4NT, if the opponents are not in the auction - should enjoy a peaceful run to their destination. With no interruptions whatsoever.

After 3 passes we will enter into what we now know as "the clarification period." It is during this period that any misinformations or non-alerts are explained in full, and also all slam bids above 4NT be explained. These bids should be explained without the opponents asking. In other words it is mandatory for the bidders to reveal all.

After everything is clarified, the lead is chosen and we then conclude the Auction Period.



Query received on 10-Apr-2019 from Jay Malherbe, JHB

My Partner and I play this version of the Swiss convention: if you respond 2NT when your Partner opens one of a major, you are showing support and 16+ points.

When my Partner opened "One Spade" recently, I came out of a gentle doze to assess my hand: xx, KQxx, Axx, QJ10x, and said 2NT. My Partner showed the Alert card and I then realized what I had done, but no questions were asked. Partner bid 4NT and all passed.

The opponents didnít ask anything when the lead was tabled or throughout the play (we came up one trick short).

My question is: There was something wrong with this auction. Should we have called the TD?

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REPLY - Refer to your law book (Jay did the TD course). Law 75C - This is a MISBID and not a MISEXPLANATION. It is not an infraction. Even if you became declarer (or dummy), there is no need to correct anything before the lead.

Have a good laugh - no offence.



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