Friday, 16 July 2010

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG..............................
Dear Rebecca,
I'm at my wits' end. Whenever my partner opens a weak 1NT ( 12-14 ), I'm forever holding a problem 6-8 point hand with a flat 4-4-3-2 distribution. The times I choose to pass the inevitable happens.......the oppo immediately rattle off 5 tricks in a minor, plus a couple more later on, giving me a wretched score. It goes without saying there was a safe 2H/2S contract available with us having a 4-4 fit in one of the majors. However, on the occasions I do risk 2C to find such a fit, partner of course relpies 2D ....and then I've nowhere to go.
Tell me, what can I do ?
Yours Ed Spinning
Dear Ed,
Passing 1NT with flat hands up with less than 10 points is always the right thing to do. By going with the field you should always be getting near average ( par ) scores. If you need to generate a swing result, then the 2C enquiry might well land you in a better contract. However, I don't experience such problems because my partner and I play 5-card majors. So in a hand which contains one or both 4 card majors we are obliged to open a prepared 1C. This is alerted as natural, or a flat hand with at least 2 clubs, but one with at least one 4-card major. Such a system might well allow you to sign off in 1NT or 2H/S without too much grief. The days of 1NT having a mildly pre-emptive impact have gone, given the range of sophisticated conventions to counter such a bid.
Yours always in ascendency, Rebecca Rood

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