Bidding Gadgetry
Cy the Cynic likes to play lots of bidding gadgets. Like many players these days, Cy views conventions as an effortless way to achieve good results.
In a team match, Cy and his partner were using the “Gambling 3NT” opening: Cy’s 3NT promised a solid seven-card minor with little or no outside strength. If North thought 3NT would be a losing contract, he would run to 4♣, and Cy would convert to 4 if that was his suit.

Dlr: South ♠ K J 9 4
Vul: Both K 8 2
8 3
♣ A Q 9 2
♠ A 5 ♠ 10 8 7 6 2
Q 6 4 A J 9 7 3
9 6 4 J
♣ K J 10 7 3 ♣ 6 4
♠ Q 3
10 5
A K Q 10 7 5 2
♣ 8 5
South West North East
3NT(!) All Pass

Opening lead —Choose it

Down Two

As it was, 3NT was passed out. West could have led a club, but since he knew Cy had seven diamond tricks to cash, West led the ♠A to get a look at dummy. When he saw it, he shifted astutely to the Q, and the Cynic went down two. Good defense!
At the other table, South opened one diamond, and North-South got to 3NT played by North. East led a heart, and North took 10 tricks.
Pick your gadgets carefully. Better yet, focus on improving your play and defense. Conventions do not a winning player make.

Daily Question

You hold:
♠ K J 9 4
K 8 2
8 3
♣ A Q 9 2
You open 1♣, your partner responds 1, you bid 1♠ and he tries 1NT. What do you say?

You can’t afford to show your heart tolerance. If you bid a third time in the face of your partner’s announced weakness, you will promise extra strength. Moreover, you have no reason to think that a contract of two hearts will be superior to 1NT. Pass. Partner may have to struggle, but that’s what partners are for.

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