From the desk of Bob Jones:


February 25, 2012

Hi All,

Tuesday afternoon at Jourdan’s offered back-to-back hands with recurrent, but important, themes. Let’s look first at board #2:

As the cards lie
bridge hand

South correctly promotes his 6-4 hand into an opening bid of 1S, North bids 2D and South should rebid 2H. This is much better than rebidding 2S. 2H shows 9 cards in your hand while a 2S rebid would only show 6. 2H hides your 6th spade for the moment but there is a good chance you can show it later. What does North do now? Can’t bid NT with no club stopper and 3D might be passed. The correct bid is 3C, Fourth Suit Forcing (FSF). This is an artificial game forcing bid. Opener should rebid as naturally as possible knowing that they must have a stopper in the fourth suit to bid NT. Remember that the FSF bid was artificial. Now South can rebid his spades, North will raise, and the best spot is reached.

Board #3 was eerily similar:

As the cards lie
bridge hand

West opens 1S, East responds 2D and opener rebids 2H. Same church, same pew! East again bids 3C (FSF) and West has a terrible rebid problem. He must choose between rebidding his 4-card heart suit or supporting diamonds with only 2. Remember that he cannot bid NT without a club stopper. 3C was artificial. Either choice will be raised to game by East. I would choose to rebid 3H due to the excellent quality of the suit. 4H is the top spot and would make easily even if the hearts split 4-2 rather than the lucky 3-3 split here.

FSF is an important tool to have in your arsenal. ALL good players have it. How about you?