Fabulous suits

February 24, 2009 at 10:31 pm 1 comment

Sorry, have to go shopping….I don’t think I’ll get back to the Suicide Point before tomorrow (well, some would say that’s what shopping is….). What fabulous comments the last couple of posts have received. I hope to summarise them all and ask some questions about them in a post over the next few days. Thanks for all your erudite contributions to what seems to me quite an important topic.

Meanwhile, something to entertain, I hope. If I happen to receive sympathy from Markey, that’d be a bonus!


My partnership has been attracting these sorts of hands lately (being actually, a while ago now):

s AQJ109876543
h1 AK

Playing Butler, RHO opens 1D.

Without thinking about it, I saw this hand as having a loser, the spade king and bid 6S. It was only as LHO began thinking that I realised 7S was clearly odds on.

Eventually LHO doubled and this was passed back to me: what now? Is there a room full of players getting to declare 7S redoubled? Could I run from 6S doubled to 7S, hoping to get to send that back?!! Should I redouble 6S, hope the opponents run and then inveigle my way back to 7S redoubled? Eventually I decided on redouble and there the contract stayed. Dummy came down with a spade void and they were 2-0. Lucky. I don’t know if it was because the field was weak or because it is so hard to evaluate a suit, even though a simple one, that is so rarely held. Making 6 redoubled was worth only 4 IMPs.

What should you bid with this hand? The direct 7S looks auto to me. But it is one of those hands that suits the devious, the creative, the lurkers. I asked Jonathan Mestel, the English chess Grandmaster who plays bridge also what he would do with it and after due reflection he wanted to make every bid possible. His favourites were 1H! and 1NT!!

When the pair that won the event came to this hand, my hand also played 6S redoubled….bidding the good grand would have lost them the event. Meanwhile….

s Jxxx
c AKQJ109843

Your shot first in hand playing IMPs. This was from the Swiss of the 1999 National Open Teams. Lots of players opened 6C, lots of others 5C.

My partner’s auction is not for children. Simon Hinge opened 1C and over my 1H response bid 1S. This rather excited me holding:

s AKQx
h1 AKJ10xx
d1 10xx

I bid 3D fitshowing and now Simon jumped to 6C. He had to have 1st round diamond control and his keenness to suggest clubs as the final contract was understandable given my spade holding. So, 7S from me.

He ruffed the opening diamond lead and spades were 4-1. Two down with 15 tricks in clubs. In retrospect, much as I don’t like partner’s auction (his hand isn’t a hand with spades and clubs, it is a hand with clubs, clubs and more clubs) it could have got us to the right place. After the jump to 6C it is not so hard from my hand to reason thus: partner must have bid 6C with the expectation of a spade loser…therefore he definitely has no club loser.

Sorry partner, I wasn’t up to it.


Entry filed under: bidding.

Suicide? Indeed, Holmes. Still shopping

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. phil markey  |  February 25, 2009 at 8:06 am

    well naturally i think your wrong

    about opening 7 spades that is

    i got KQJ to 7 clubs once with AKJ10 to 6 spades on the side – favourable – i was playing with horton against solid guys who didnt trust me

    RHO dealt and opened a weak 1nt

    i bid 5 clubs fairly quickly – as a matter of hand evaluation i figured that whilst 6 clubs might be a bit more likely than 5 clubs they werent that far away – but i also figured i had some implied odds that 5 clubs would be hit to consider and although a slam bonus is a lot of odds i was confident that someone doubling was likely – i mean if you bid 6 clubs your planning on making – if you bid 5 clubs your diving

    what really put me over the edge though was the opportunity to make horton flinch – god damn 5-6 years with that guy and no flinching !!

    so it went double pass pas redouble (no f***ing flinch !!) all pass

    they led a club which gave me an entry to dummy via 10x of clubs – they didnt need to do that – but now it was odds to hook the spade – Qx offside – so i made 11

    joe haffer at the other table – he never has been a subtle guy and he promptly hit 6 clubs over a weak 1nt and led a red stinger

    so today i have sympathy for what you actually did – your cursory analysis of the odds not so much


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