Grant Bazes’ Tips

Grant Baze

1) Be slow to push opps out of 1NT if they are vul.  Conversely, strain to balance if they are non-vul.

2) With a known 29 points between you, consider  3NT, even if you have a 4-4- or 5-3 major  fit. (Playing matchpoints, of course)

3) Strain to make light 1-level overcalls with a suit that wants a lead. AKxxx, or KQJxx with nothing else  is fine  at MP (not IMP), providing your partner is aware that you might only have 6 or 7 points.

4) Strain to push your opps up or out of a 2H contract. Usually them playing 2H will be a bad board for you.

5) Be slow to make speculative (marginal) doubles of non-vul opps. Beating them 1 trick wont be worth the times they will make it. But if they are VUL, down 1 is 200, always a good result.

6) When you are sure your side has nine (9) trumps, generally take the push to the three-level. If you have only 8 trumps, don’t take the push. Conversely, if you know the opps have only 8 trumps, you might take the push to the 3 level, not expecting to make it, but knowing  they can make their 2-level bid.

7) If you know that your side has 10 trumps save at the 4-level, non vul  vs vul  opps. If you suspect that your side has 11 trumps you can save at the 5-level safely, non vul vs vul opps.

8) When opps play 3NT after an invitational sequence, unless you have a good 5-card suit to lead from, lead passively. If you lose a trick on the opening lead, it may be their only way to make 9 tricks. Conversely, if they appear to have bid strongly and have plenty of points, you have to lead aggressively.

9) If 3NT is one of your options and your stopper is Ax (with little likely hood of partner having another high honour) 3NT is probably not a good choice, unless you have 6 or 7 tricks in a long suit you can run immediately.

10) A trump lead suggests that the side suits are not breaking. (Apply this to your own leads. If you know that the side suits are not breaking, lead a trump.)

11) Induce a cover if you can and are missing two honours (say king and jack) by leading an honour.

12) When partner makes a balancing double in the passout seat, bid a 4 card major if you have one over a 5 card minor, as usually that is what she is hoping you have.