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The weak jump shift response - a contrarian view

The Weak Jump Shift response - a contrarian view

As the WJSR in competition has been largely replaced by fit showing jumps and since jumps to the three level (1H -3C) may have different meanings (Bergen, mini splinters, natural, etc. I will concentrate on the two level and define the jump response as usually a six card suit in a hand not good enough for a one level response. Many will play this as 2-5 HCP’s while others 0-5(Bergen). For any bid to be effective it must fit within the given system and outweigh other uses. In this case the WJSR allows you to bid on hands you would previously been forced to pass. Albert Morehead once argued forcibly for the strong jump shift but his case was lost not in little part because bridge players like to bid. This is a dubious claim for the WJSR as the 2-5 point hand occurs less than 3% of the time and a 6 card suit occurs only 16.5%. Furthermore when you do hold this hand it is likely the opponents rather than partner will open the bidding. Now discount the number of times you would have to bid at the three level (1H-3D) and I will leave the true odds to the mathematicians but you can see the odds are very small indeed. However we can improve this by simply using a range of 4-7 rather than 2-5. This provides several advantages:

1. Frequency. The 4-7 point hand is twice as likely as the 2-5 hand so providing more opportunities to use the bid.

2. The more HCP the closed hand may hold the harder it is for the opponents to defend. Concealing strength is one of the original idea behind Jacoby and Texas.

3. It seems to be human nature that when the opponents do not want you to bid you will bid. With the known weakness of the 2-5 hand it is much easier and less dangerous for the opponents to inter the auction therefore the 4-7 hand is actually more preemptive.

4. It better defines this sequence:

1D - 1S

2C - 2S and similar auctions. Traditionally the 2S bidder is in the 6-10 range and this point count gap can cause consternation for the opening bidder. Using 4-7 for the WJSR allows for a narrow 8-10 HCP range and is more constructive in nature. .

5. With a more narrow range better competitive decisions are made at the three level:

1D - P - 1H - P

2C - P - 2H - P

P - 2S - P - P

6. With this range we have only lost the ability to bid on 0-3 HCP hands in a six card suit. This seems a small price.

There are, or course, disadvantages:

1. The 6 cars suit with 0-3 HCP must be passed.

2. When you hold a good five card suit with 4-7 HCP if you will rebid your suit over a 1NT rebid by partner you must jump at your first opportunity. JX, KQT84, XX, XXX. Over 1C or 1D bid 2H.

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