Stephen Cooper

I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ long suits!

To paraphrase the man from the movie, “Long Suits? We ain’t got no long suits! We don’t have to show you any stinkin’ long suits!”

Playing in Online mini-tournaments allows some scope for experimentation.

 At IMP’s, None Vul., I picked up: QT8743, QJ3, J3, 43. With the Swiss style pairing, we were fighting it out for first place in this, the final round. LHO started with 1NT which was passed around to me. Although my hand is weak, it has some playing strength, and partner is marked with some values, well-placed behind the opening bidder. Moreover, systemically, I am able to bid 2S, which will place Opener on lead, hopefully with some awkward choices. I clicked on the 2S button, and saw Opener double, Responder pull to 2NT, and Opener quickly raise to 3NT.

Turns out, accurate clicking is a difficult task. Opener had a gilt-edged 21 (!), Responder had a full 8 HCP, and 3NT was an easy make. “Sorry, partner,” she said. “I meant to open 2NT”. Nice balance by me.

Steaming slightly (Grosvenered in the bidding?) despite the normal result, I looked up at the last hand. K76, K7, T5, AQT532. Third seat, white against red, I saw 2 passes to me. Playing weak no-trumps, I “misclicked” (with malice aforethought) and opened 2NT (TWO!). LHO, (she who had opened 1NT with 21), now came in like a shot with 3S, holding AQ98xx, 854, AQ9, 4.!! I don’t get no respect. This overcall Red vs White into a 2NT opening!

Partner now chimed in with 4D. Hmmm. I don’t know if he thinks we play transfers here, but I have had enough fun for now. I pass, and we play 4D. Okay, he had hearts, but he had a side-suit of 4 Diamonds, so we were only down 3, -150 for my adventuring. They can make 2S. We lost 1.32 IMP’s and came second.

However, the icing on the cake was I got to comment when I put down the dummy: “Sorry, partner. I meant to open 1NT”.

Long suits? I don’t bid no stinkin’ long suits!

The next day, I picked up: Q8, Q5, AKJT754, 94. First chair, IMP’s, white vs. red. My favourite colours! Well, I had a balanced hand, 12-14 HCP, so I started with 1NT. LHO overcalled a natural 2C (Who plays that??!?), and partner transferred to hearts via a 2D bid (at the two level, I knew our system!). RHO raised to 3C. I could not bid 3D at that stage, as that might be interpreted as being based on heart support. In any event, pard is still there if he has a good hand, and I am hoping my 1NT has sufficiently murked up the waters (where are the Spades???). So I passed, and partner balanced with 3H, not forcing. It still didn’t seem time to introduce my suit, so I passed it around to LHO, who competed with 4C. Everyone checked, and they scored up 150. They were also cold for 620 in their 4-4 Spade fit.

Long suits? I don’t bid no….

Switching over to matchpoints, I picked up 5, 87, A63, KJT9762. With nobody vulnerable,  a 1D opening on my left is passed around to me, somewhat strangely. Okay, I fell from grace and bid 2C. Partner tried for game with 2NT, and you would..?? I raised! Partner had K862, 96, KJ42, A53. The opening Jack of hearts lead was overtaken by the Queen, and a Diamond switch was made. How do you play? Partner fell from grace, not reading that if anyone is short in clubs, it would be the opening leader. He went down 3, but they do make 4H.

Finally, the companion board. AT65432, J63, AT6, —-. White against red, partner passes and RHO opens 1NT. (I wonder how big THAT might be!). True to my credo, I passed to await developments. I doubted that it would go all pass, and I wanted to listen. LHO transferred to hearts, and partner now chimed in with 3C. Opener took the push to 3H, and it still did not seem time to introduce my long suit. The  auction ended abruptly, and I was on lead. I led the Ace of Spades to partner’s void, and we cross-ruffed happily for some time. Down 3, +300,  was a good pickup, particularly since the world was going set in any number of Spades.

Long suits? I don’t bid no stinkin’ long suits!

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