Yesterday in IHT, Frank Stewart on Bridge said, “‘How many tricks does it takes to beat a major-suit game?’ East asked his partner pointedly after South made four spades ‘Silly question.’ West said. ‘Why not ask me where Hershey Bars are made…’ On No Hearts said, I know who invented the Diesel engine and who devised the Morse code, and I know that four tricks are needed to beat four spades…On Daily Question, Answer said, This is a borderline bid. The high-card structure is good, but the hand lacks length in spades, and awkward rebid problem is likely. If you open, start with one club, intending to bid 1NT over a response of one spade. That will limit your strength quickly and will get you to hearts…”
Oh, the Hershey chocolate bars are made in Hershey, Pennsylvania. If you open intending to bid 1NT, that is to say you want to bid 1 no trump over a response of one spade in contract bridge card game. A borderline bid is saying that you are in a borderline, you cannot decide whether to open the bidding or not. In the Roth-Stone system, many 13-point hands did not meet the requirements for opening the bidding. But today players are opening 10-point hands. There are sound arguments of these two approaches, many of them applying to tournament. In most natural bridge bidding systems, the opening bid of 2 club is used exclusively for hands too strong for an opening bid at the one-level.
DB, November 3, 2012