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After partner opens 1NT, you as responder wear the captain’s hat and can normally place the contract right away. The two issues to focus on are (i) whether you have a game-going hand (around 12+ points – to give a partnership total of practically 25 points)* and (ii) whether you have a known fit (six+ cards in a suit will guarantee a fit as the 1NT has at least two cards in every suit).
*Focussing on the game contracts 3NT, 4♥, 4♠ but not 5♣ and 5♦ - to be avoided.
Exercise:What should these hands respond to 1NT?
|Hand A||Hand B||Hand C||Hand D|
♠ Q 7 4
♥ K Q 10 7 4 3
♣ Q J 6 3
♠ Q 3 2
♥ Q 9 7 2
♦ A J 7
♣ J 8 3
♥ 10 9 7 6 4 2
♦ J 8 5
♣ A 6 2
♠ Q 5 3
♦ 9 8 6 3 2
♣ Q J 5 3
(a) 4♥. Eight+ hearts and the values for game (within one – and the wonderful shape more than compensates).
(b) Pass. There cannot be 25 partnership points – plus what a trickless hand!
(c) 2♥. Clear to remove 1NT to 2♥ - there must be an eight-card heart fit and 2♥ will surely play better than 1NT. Note partner will not bid again - 2♥ is a weakness take-out.
(d) 2♦. There may not be a fit – if partner has a doubleton diamond. But experience has shown that it is better to rescue 1NT into a five-card suit when you are weak (ie up to 10/11 points).