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 Who should add the 9-card fit bonus, opener or responder March 11 2017

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PostSubject: Who should add the 9-card fit bonus, opener or responder March 11 2017   Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:53 pm

When partner opens 1 of a major or overcalls 1 of a suit, he is promising a 5 card suit.
If you as responder have 4 card support for his suit, you know you have a 9 card fit.
A 9 card fit (on average) beats an 8 card fit by about 2/3 of a trick which is equal to about 2 points. Since distributional bidding usually assumes an 8 card fit, the 9-card fit generates a 2 point bonus. If you want to know how this works see the last paragraph.

So maybe the two hands with a 9 card trump fit are 2 points stronger than two hands with an 8 card fit. This leads to the question of who should get to add these 2 extra points to their point count. To me, it seems that the responder should count this 2 point 9-card fit bonus generated by his 4 trumps just as the responder adds dummy points for short side suits.
After all, opener has already bid and responder in more likely to be able to make some bid with an extra 2 points.

Much of bidding however, seems aimed at telling the opener that responder has 4 card support. There are several conventional bids that, in their standard format, are used to show a responder's 4 card support. Jacoby 2NT, Splinter bids and Two-way Drury come to mind.
There may be some benefit from changing this.

Bottom Line
I suggest that responders should count 2 extra points for the 9-card fit bonus and that the partnership should modify Jacoby 2NT to promise only 3 or more card support rather than 4 card support. Also, the partnership should use a Drury which promises only 3 card support.

Where does the 9-card fit bonus come from?
The 9-card fit bonus is produced by the opponents having only have 4 trumps instead of the 5 trumps of an 8-card fit. With only 4 trumps, opponents will have a trump split of 2-2 approximately 41% of the time so only 2 rounds are required to draw all opponent's trumps. This is where the extra (on average) 2/3's of a trick (= 2 points) comes from.

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