Balancing after one opponent opens the bidding 1 ♥ or 1 ♠ and her partner raises to two of the suit, 2♥ or 2 ♠.
This analysis is by Dave McClintock. see Pages
Don’t let the opponents steal the contract from you at the two-level. One of the worst scores in bridge is -110 where the opponents bid and make 2 ♥
or 2 ♠
. Note that if the opponents have found an 8-card fit, we almost always have our own 8-card fit. We need to compete!
Thus, the auction at our table should never go 1 ♠
– P – 2 ♠
– P – P – P (Well, almost never!). If the auction died at the 2-level, partner has points, even if I don’t.
What can happen if we balance against 1 ♠
– P – 2 ♠
– P – P – ?
a. We find a fit and make a contract (good for us!)
b. We go down 50 or 100 against their +110 (good for us!)
c. The opponents take the push to the 3-level and go down (good for us!)
d. The opponents take the push to the 3-level and make it (okay for us)
e. The opponents bid on to game and make it (bad for us, but rare!)
f. We go down 150 or more against their 110 or 140 (bad for us!)
Note that only 2 of the 6 possibilities are bad for our side and one of them (e) find a game after a balancing bid is a remote possibility. At matchpoints (pairs), it’s imperative to use that competitive edge. If we go down 500, it’s only one bad board versus the several very good boards we get for competing.
After balancing, let the opponents have the contract if they bid to the 3-level! Bidding again invites trouble and a big minus score!
Here are some sample hands after an opponent opens 1 ♠
and her partner responds 2 ♠
. Then, pass, pass to you.