By Peter Rhead
Responses to your stolen bid
Strange things can happen in Bridge. Your opponent can steal your bid. However, you do not need to call the police to do something about it. You can do something about it yourself. The convention is called “Systems On”. It is used only with an opening of One or Two No-Trump.
Your partner opens 1NT. You are ready to bid Two Clubs Stayman. This would tell partner that you have a four-card major suit amd asks him to bid a four-card major if he has one. Your right-hand opponent (RHO) bids Two Clubs ahead of you – stealing your bid, the bid you wanted to make.
When your RHO steals your bid, you just double his bid to indicate it has been stolen. Make sure you and your partner have an agreement to play No-Trump “Systems On” so you successfully can make this “double”.
A 1NT opening does not only lead to No-Trump contracts. It also gives access to the Stayman and Transfer conventions. These two conventions provide a great way to find the best contract in either Hearts or Spades, and sometimes in the minors. However, Stayman and Transfer bids often are stolen.
If partner opened 1NT and your RHO bid Two Diamonds when you wanted to transfer to your five-card Heart suit, what do you do? You double the opponent’s bid because the opponent had stolen the Two Diamond bid that you needed to show your Heart suit.
If you had a six-card Club suit, and the enemy bid Two Spades, you could double the Spade bid showing it as a stolen bid for a transfer to Three Clubs. Following your double, partner would then complete the transfer to Three Clubs.
Guideline one: One No-Trump or 2NT are two bids you or your partner often open that make possible a double for a stolen bid.
Guideline two: A stolen bid of Two Spades, indicating a transfer to the minors, can be remedied by you with the double which tells partner to bid Three Clubs.
Next Week: Examples of responses made by you for stolen bids.
Remember, as we all fight COVID-19 with social isolation, if you want your Bridge fix, online competition is available for all skill levels. From the ACBL Bridge website, you can hook up either to play live people or to play robots. Either way you test or consolidate various Bridge skills. At ACBL.org just click on “Play Bridge” and follow the prompts for various choices.
If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to [email protected] and I will try to include it in this column.
Looking for more bridge tips? You’ll find them here.
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