Page 9 - SPBC-Sept-2019-22
P. 9

        The auction starts:
              West   North   East    South
                 1♦        1♠       ?

               Despite holding 8 HCP, pass is the “least bad” alternative. Why reject
        1NT? In any competitive auction where the opponents have bid a suit, the one
        who suggests no trump as a potential contract should be the one who has a
        stopper. To bid 1NT here and find partner holding a balanced 19-count with two
        low spades would be a bit embarrassing when you lose the first five or six spade
        tricks in a final contract of 3NT. If the overcall had been 1♥ instead of 1♠ , 1NT
        would be a perfect response.

               One of the mantras that I try to emphasize when I teach competitive
        bidding seminars is the following:

                              In a competitive auction, pass means
                              one of two things. Either you have
                              nothing to say, or there’s nothing you
                              can say that says what you have!

               The 8-point pass after the overcall is a perfect example of “there is nothing
        you can say that says what you have.” If your partner holds extra values or extra
        shape, he may back into the auction and you might be able to bid later. That’s a
        much better plan than tricking partner by bidding 1NT with no spade stopper.
               Although I am a strong proponent of finding reasons to bid rather than
        excuses to pass, sometimes pass is the right thing to do.

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