Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fourth-Suit Forcing and Artificial - Part 1

This is an important convention that comes in handy. 

Responder’s Second Bid
Modern bidding has a problem-child:

Q 8 7                      North       South
A Q 9 8 7              1             1
K J 6                     1              ??
5 4

South has a problem: He wants to bid NT, but not without a stopper in clubs, the only unbid suit. He should not jump in his 5-card heart suit (only perverts do that), and he should not raise opener’s second suit with only 3-card support. There is a nice solution to this dilemma:

Fourth-Suit Forcing 
South simply bids the fourth suit, clubs. He bids 2 which is forcing (actually any new suit responder bids is forcing), but all-important, it is artificial. Responder does not need anything in the fourth suit. It simply says, Partner, I have a hand good enough for game (13+), but I have no convenient rebid to make, so I’m tossing it back to you.

K 8                      North       South
A J 5 4 3 2          1            1
9 6                       1            ??
K J 6

South should bid 2 - fourth-suit forcing and artificial.

Again, South has a problem. Now he can rebid his 6-card heart suit, but a jump to 3 would only show 11-12 points and could be passed by North. Jumping to 4 when North might be void in hearts is not appealing.