Is this just a New Zealand thing? Doing it on your own.

August 14, 2008 at 2:32 pm 1 comment

A little while ago I posted this hand:

Q
87432
K10972
K5
J97 Box 10652
Q1065 A9
AJ654
J109843 Q6
AK843
KJ
Q83
A72
West North East South
2 Double Pass
3 Pass Pass Double
Pass Pass 3 Double
3 Pass Pass Double
All Pass

Michael Ware commented “Why should you redouble? What does that do other than tell the opponents to stop bidding?”

But Michael, it is already too late for the oppos to stop bidding. What is wrong with 2H redoubled? Aren’t we at least as happy with that scenario as any other? Is it bad if partner gives us a hand in the auction?

Still, evidently it is a rather New Zealand thing to go it alone on these hands. If you don’t necessarily agree with Ware’s action on the hand above, well, this one will have you in a complete huff.

AK63
K92
10
A8654
J Box Q8742
AQJ8 75
AJ98 K6532
KJ32 10
1095
10643
Q73
Q97

The setting is the last round of the 2007 world championship in Shanghai. Japan was a serious contender still to qualify for the finals. They only needed to dispatch NZ who were near the bottom of the field. This must have broken their hearts:

West

Ackerley

North

Ino

East

Smith

South

Imakura

2 Pass
3 Pass 3 Pass
Pass Double Pass 3
Double All Pass

Quoting from my own commentary on the round robin: ‘Ackerley took a big punt with the West cards opposite an opening bid that showed either major and a minor. This time, against a team that needed to take the odd chance, it worked: -800 and -150 from 3NT in the other room was 14 IMPs to NZ and an early blow for Japan’s hopes.’

The politically neutral world championship book didn’t seem to be the right place to raise the obvious issue. Was this something NZ would typically have done, eg IMPs up and in contention themselves? Or was this something done because it didn’t matter to them whether they came last or last?

In a way Ware’s attitude to this other hand answers the question. Maybe there is a peculiarly NZ approach to these hands with the Mickey Mouse auctions, a sort of ‘we’ve made you guess and now we are going to guess better’ style. But surely it can’t always work this well.

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Entry filed under: bidding. Tags: , , .

Now the ANC is over – part one Now the ANC is over – part two

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Ben Thompson  |  August 14, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Seems very … generous? … to tag all of New Zealand with a bidding style.

    I think the Shanghai hand explains why NZ ran so poorly in Shanghai. I bet a fair assessment (eg considering good opponents only) will find that The Style (eg Ackerley-Smith 2♦, eschewing 4♥, not redoubling when you have one, etc) is a significant net loser.

    Sure, The Style generates stories frequently enough to make it fun, but the real story is all the imps it drips out most of the time.

    Ben

    Reply

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