Monday, January 7, 2008

Q: Is ♠ -- ♥KQxx [D]AKJxxx ♣J10x right for a Walsh Fragment after 1[D]-P-1♥-P-?
A: The diamond suit quality is a tad light for my tastes.
However, if you want to use this tool, the objections concerning the location of your stiff is somewhat easily solved. Responder can use the relay as an asking bid. If, say, clubs are opened and spades agreed, 4[D] by Responder can ask for the stiff, Opener bidding 4♥ with a stiff heart and 4♠ with a stiff diamond.
Consider the actual auction, however. This is a tight bid, because the "relay" if 4♠, which forces the slam. A walsh fragment bid immediately below the trump suit, or even one below, is a very tight bid.
It may be useful to agree that the Walsh Frag that is one-under shows a specific shortness, the one that is least convenient.
The easy way to understand "convenient" is to ask which option is most difficult to bid in another manner. That leads me, in this situation, to handling the short club holding through the Walsh Frag.
Reasons. If Opener opts for a splinter, 4♣ bypasses a Serious 3NT, but 3♠ does not. If Opener opts to bid around a void, 3♣ is recognized as possibly manufactured but 2♠ is not.
Thus, ideally the one-under Walsh Frag should be with shortness in the other minor and a frag in the other major.
The same GP applies to a two-under W.F., IMO.

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