Join Bridge Winners
ACBL Bulletin Review of When to Bid Notrump

Adam Parrish’s “When to Bid Notrump (And How to Play It)” is a bookend piece to his previous work, “When to Draw Trumps.” Like its predecessor, “When to Bid Notrump” is a terrific primer for intermediate-level players on a fundamentally important aspect of the game. The latest work, however, examines the auction and play phases of the game, stressing the priority of notrump scoring at matchpoints.

Parrish explains the advantages of opening 1NT whenever possible, encouraging the reader to ignore possible defects such as stopperless suits – a low-priority concern that can obsessively worry newer players – or the presence of a five-card major in a hand that otherwise satisfies the conditions of a 1NT opener. As Parrish points out, being able to narrowly define range and pattern in a single bid is the weightier consideration. Not only that, but being able to employ all the specialized tools that spring from a 1NT opening, such as Stayman and transfers, makes the case for straining to open 1NT a convincing one.

The author then pivots to the heart of the text, explaining how the gravitational pull of 3NT demands that pairs work on common sequences that lead to that contract in both competitive and noncompetitive auctions.

The latter half of the book, as the title suggests, examines the play in notrump contracts. Like drivers who have gotten into the habit of buckling their seatbelts before starting the car, Parrish correctly insists that bridge players should count their winners – actual and potential – before playing to trick one. Each of the example deals in the text contains a list of sure tricks and potential tricks. Often, of course, the suit with the greatest source of potential tricks is the one that declarer needs to develop first, but being in the habit of counting must become second nature for players to maximize their results.

Recommended reading.

Reviewed by Paul Linxwiler

Reprinted with permission from the April edition of the ACBL Bridge Bulletin. Thanks to Sue Munday for her assistance.

When to Bid Notrump (And How to Play It) is available from the Bridge Winners Store in both ebook and paperback formats.

Getting Comments... loading...

Bottom Home Top