Teacher's Manual

Our first major openings

Session 5.1 : The 1 or 1 opening, the 4-level raise



Session program

  • Reminder: the notion of fit, the total points Decision Table
  • The 1  or 1   openings
  • The 4-level raise
  • The first finesses

Reminder

Start the session with a few questions:

  • What is the necessary condition for a trump play? To have a fit, that is at least eight cards in a common suit.
  • When you know you have a fit, what do you need to count?  Distribution points.

Review with them the distribution points table, and possibly ask other questions, for example:

  • Is a singleton useful to play in No Trump?
  • What is a void?
  • When your side holds ten trumps, how many points do you add?

Remind them of the magic numbers when you bid a suit contract:

  • 27 pts, for bidding a 4-level game
  • 33 pts, for bidding a small slam
  • 37 pts, for bidding a grand slam


The 1   or 1   opening

Up to now, they opened with1NT all the balanced hands with 16 to 18 HCP. From now on, be the hand balanced or not, they should open in Hearts or Spades as soon as you own at least five cards in the suit..

To open with 1   or 1  you have to have five cards or more in Hearts or Spades and at least 12 HCP


Don’t speak about upper limit. Suggest a few exercises:

Exercises

Always do the exercises cards on table.
With the following hands, what do you open?

1
2
3
4
  A Q 7 5 3
  K 4 2
  8
  K J 10 8
  K J 6
  A 5
  K Q J 7 2
  Q 6 5
  K J 6
  K Q J 7 2
 A 5
  Q 6 5
  K J 8 6 4 2
  9
  A Q 3
  K Q 4

 

 


Hand 1: 13 HC points, five cards in Spades: 1  
Main 2 : Hand 2: 16 HC points, neither five Hearts, nor five Spades: 1NT
Hand 3: 16 HC points, five cards in Heart: 1  
Hand 4: 15 HC points, six cards in Spade: 1  


The responder discovers a fit, 4-level raise

Spread the following hand on the table:

5
  A Q J 6 5
  K 8 3
  8 7
  Q 10 2
12 HC points, five cards in Spades, the conditions are there to open with 1  


Then place the hand face down, leaving only the 5332 distribution visible, and present a responder’s hand.

opening : 1  
6
  K 10 2
  A 5 4
  A K 8 4
  9 6 2

 

With this hand, opposite a 1  opening, what are the questions you should ask yourself?

  • How many cards do I have in Spades?
    Three, so we have a fit, we are going to play with a Spade trump.
  • At what level?
    Have them review the level where you can score a game (27 pts) and small slam (33 pts).
  • Be careful! What is your evaluation of the opener’s hand now that you have a fit?
    They should at that point visualize the doubleton in the opener’s hand (face down cards), so the opener owns at least 13 pts
    The responder can then count 13 pts in the opener’s hand + 14 pts in his, at least 27 pts, he then bids the game.

Offer them now another responder’s hand:

opening : 1  
7
  K 10 9 2
  A 5
  9 7
  K 8 7 6 5

 

And let them count the points:
10 HCP + 2 distribution points for the 9th trump, 2 distribution points for the two doubletons, i.e. 14 pts; at least 28 pts in your side, you still bid a game…


Exercise
This exercise aims at showing the pupils the diversity in the hands allowing them to bid a game in front of a major opening. Your partner opened with 1  . With the following hands, how many distribution points do you have?

8
9
10
11
  K 5 4 2
  A Q 7
  8
  Q J 10 8 5
  K 10 2
  A 5 4
  A K 8 4
  9 6 2
  A 5
  9 8 6 2
  K Q J 7 2
  10 6
  K J 4 2
  K J 6 5 3
  -
  9 6 5 2

Hand 8: 2 distribution points because of the singleton
Hand 9: No distribution points despite the fit
Hand 10: 1 point for each doubleton + 2 points for the 9th trump: 4 D points
Hand 11: 3 points for the void + 2 points for the 9th trump + 1 point for the 10th = 6 D points
With the four hands, on a 1  opening, the responder having 14 pts will bid 4  .


Further bidding

At this stage, simply remind them that the opener can make a rebid after his partner has bid a game.
Raising to game, the responder transmits the following message: "Partner; we have enough to play a game if you have a minimum hand".
Let the opener bid what he likes…


Session first hand (5.1.1)

Hand 5.1.1     Dealer North

 
  K J 5 2
  A
  8 6 5 4
  Q J 8 6
 
  6
  Q J 10 7 3
  Q 10 7 2
  5 3 2
 
N
  8 7 3
  K 9 6 4
  J 9
  A K 10 9
W
 
E
 
S
 
 
  A Q 10 9 4
  8 5 2
  A K 3
  7 4
 

South
West
North
East
I pass
I pass
1  
4  
I pass

 

Lead: Q
Evaluation: North has 15 pts, the side total is at least 28 pts
Delay drawing trumps for a short hand ruff.
Score: 4   = : 420 NS



session second hand (5.1.2)

Hand 5.1.2     Dealer East

 
  Q J 3
  A K 3
  A 7 5
  J 6 4 3
 
  -
  9 7 5 4
  9 6 4 3
  K Q 10 8 2
 
N
  10 9 8 7 2
  8 6
  J 10 8
  9 7 5
W
 
E
 
S
 
  A K 6 5 4
  Q J 10 2
  K Q 2
  A
 

South
West
North
East
I pass
1  
4  
6  
I pass

 

Lead: K
Opener’s rebid at 6   (21 pts)
Four rounds of trumps leaving the high trump outstanding…
Cash your tricks
Score: 6   = : 980 NS



Discovering the first finesse

The declarer side

You try to have the children guess how to maneuver and why to finesse: to take tricks with cards that are not high.
Rather than writing on the blackboard, use the card of a suit, hiding the defending side’s cards, i.e. the missing honors.

1
2
3
  K 6

  3 2
The Ace is missing
  A Q

  5 4
Where is the King?
  A K J

  4 3 2
Where is the Queen?

Ask them in which case they will make one trick in the first example, two in the second one and three in the last one.
The terms of finesse, direct or indirect, are of no importance. You don’t need to mention them. The maneuvers need to be often reviewed before they can be understood:

  • You need to play a small card to the non-high card you want win with.
  • For it to work, the opponents’ high card must be placed before the non-high card.

A finesse has one chance out of two to win or to fail!
If you don’t take a finesse, you have no chance at all to win it...

When they discover finesses, your pupils will want to try them all the time... Taking a finesse is not always mandatory, there might sometimes be other possibilities (ruffing, establishing a length).


The defending side

Once again, let them discover it cards on table…

The player seated after the dummy plays the lowest useful card

4
 
 K J 9
  5
  A Q 10
 

5
 
 K J 9
  5
  A Q 10
 

6
 
  K J 9
  5
  A Q 10
 

Don’t spend too much time on the explanations; better let the pupils play a few hands. You let them play without interfering, then you place the four hands face up on the table and ask them how they think they can set the contract.


Session third hand (5.1.3)

Hand 5.1.3     Dealer South

 
  A 6 3
  J 9
  A K 5 2
  J 8 7 4
 
  Q
  8 7 6 3 2
  J 7 4
  Q 10 5 3
 
N
  J 10 4
  Q 10 5
  Q 10 8 6
  9 6 2
W
 
E
 
S
 
 
  K 9 8 7 5 2
  A K 4
  9 3
  A K
 

South
West
North
East
1  
4  
6  
I pass

 

Lead: 8
Bidding: the opener bids the slam (21 pts)
Handling trumps: leave the high trump outstanding with the defence, short hand ruff.
Defence: play the right card in third position.
Score: 6   = : 980 NS



Session fourth hand (5.1.4)

Hand 5.1.4     Dealer West

 
  A 5
  Q 10 8 6
  J 8 6 3
  A 7 2
 
  10 8 6 4
  K 3
  7 5 2
  K Q J 9
 
N
  J 9 7 2
  A 5
  K 10 9 4
  8 4 3
W
 
E
 
S
 
  K Q 3
  J 9 7 4 2
  A Q
  10 6 5
 

South
West
North
East
I pass
I pass
I pass
1  
4  
I pass

 

Lead: K
Bidding: Evaluation of North’s hand (3 D pts)
Card playing: differ drawing trump, urgent discard on a Club in the dummy. 
Short hand ruff, finessing the King of Diamonds.
Score: 4   = : 420 NS