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Andrew’s favourite conventions (seven)

The first bid in a new suit after a partnership has bid and supported a suit is called a “Trial Bid”, showing a long, weak suit and asking for help (honours or shortage) in that suit. Responder jumps to game with help, otherwise he signs off by bidding the trump suit at the lowest level.

South Deals
Both Vul
Q J 9 4
7 6 5
8 6 5 3
K 4
8 6 2
Q J 10 8
A Q 9
J 9 8
N
W   E
S
5
9 4 2
K J 10 7 4
A 10 5 3
 
A K 10 7 3
A K 3
2
Q 7 6 2
West North East South
      1 ♠
Pass 2 ♠ Pass 3 ♣
Pass 4 ♠ Pass Pass
Pass

After North had scraped up a raise to 2 ♠, South wanted to invite game and ask partner for help in ♣s. His Trial Bid of 3 ♣ did exactly that, enabling North, in spite of holding a minimum point count, to fall in love with his ♣ holding (an upgraded king and only two cards) and so bid game. If South had made a Trial Bid of 3  or 3 , North would have signed off in 3 ♠.

West led  Q and, after winning  K, declarer led ♣ 2 to ♣ K (note the recurring theme of establishing a suit before drawing trumps). East won ♣ A and played back  9. Declarer won  A, crossed to ♠ 9, led ♣ 4 to ♣ Q, trumped ♣ 6 with ♠ J, crossed to ♠ 10, trumped ♣ 7 with ♠ Q, then conceded a . West won  9, cashed  J, then tried to cash  A. Declarer trumped, drew West’s last trump, and claimed.

ANDREW’S FAVOURITE CONVENTIONS: (7) The Trial Bid

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