Toxic assets.

April 23, 2009 at 10:40 am 4 comments

Comments for this post are being suppressed til tomorrow. I’ll publish them in the morning.

Another couple of decisions I found hard and yes, well, an invitation for you all to pick on me again.

h1 AQ95
d1 AK8632
c 1065

1D – are you all with me so far? Diamond opening ok? So, nil vul, IMPs scoring:


Sorry if you hate the 5D bid, I didn’t have a clue what to do.

Explanation of 3D: it is good diamonds. If only 4 diamonds it is about 6-10 with emphasis on diamonds. If 5 card support it could also be about no HCP. If the diamonds themselves aren’t good, then the hand is offensive:

xxxx is NOT a 3D response.

KQxxx is a 3D response. Something like that, anyway. (Typical examples, nothing to do with the particular auction….)

So, what do you do over 5S? Given that partner isn’t likely to be defining his hand by quality of trumps so much as offensive potential?

Next up:

s A4
h1 J107
d1 AJ109
c 8763

Your side is vul, RHO opens 2H, 5-5 in hearts and another. Partner doubles in passout and you bid 2NT which is forcing and typically no clear action to take, ie, likely to pass 3C/D, but might be intending something excitable instead.


What now? Is this as difficult as I thought it was?


Entry filed under: bidding, VBA.

Cayne match continued. Toxic assets continued.

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. khokan  |  April 24, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I misread the problem on hand (2) and failed to notice that 2H showed a 5-5, rather than a weak 2. I think now that pass is the best action, even though partner appears to have a monster. Come to think of it, pass is probably best on balance even if 2H is a standard weak 2 – good problem.

  • 2. Jonathan  |  April 23, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    I will pass on the first. Maybe we should bid on. Maybe they’re
    a few off – we chose not to ask partner for help for tactical reasons
    and now we have to live with it. Maybe they did the wrong thing.
    I don’t really think double shows this hand.

    On the 2nd, I don’t fully understand our methods. What would 2NT and then 3NT show? On balance I shall pass and lead a low trump.

  • 3. Chris Mulley  |  April 23, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    On the first hand, I’m out of there. I rate their chances of making 5S as very good (possibly excellent), but I don’t think there is any chance that we are making 6D. Therefore, I will be bidding it as a pure sacrifice. I think that the chances of the sacrifice showing a big profit (-100 vs -450) is small; the chances of it showing a small profit (-300 vs – 450) are good, but the chances of it doing worse (or being a phantom) are also decent. There just doesn’t seem to be the upside I require to bid here at teams. I would need the lure of favourable vulnerability.

    It is hands like this that I point to as the reason for playing a “cue-raise” style in these auctions – with a “value” 5D bid (or a hand where I might want to encourage partner to wield the wombat in the direction of 5S), I will bid 4S instead of 5D. Thus on this auction, partner has already expressed an opinion – they do not think opposite an “offensive” 5D bid that they want to either double 5S or bid 6D. In the face of that information, I don’t think there is enough extra offence in my hand to warrant a 6D bid now.

    The second problem is another “system” one. My understanding of the system as explained is that my 2NT bid showed values without a clear direction. Presumably it is not a hand good enough to game force (I would have bid 3H). In the face of that, it is a matter for agreement as to whether partner’s double is suggesting defence or offence on the hand. My preference would be to play this double as suggesting defence – the 2NT bid has already expressed doubt as to strain, so the takeout doubler need not do that as well. If we are playing that, I think passing it is obvious – my hand is probably better than it could be for defence.

    I do know, however, that many people play a general rule that having made an initial takeout double, the first subsequent double (at least at the next opportunity) by that hand is also for takeout. Opposite that, I think our chances of having a 5/4 minor fit where we are making 5m is good, so I would probably wheel out 4NT (pick a minor). I do have a horrible feeling that I am about to donate 1100 by ending up in a 4-4 fit with a 5-0 break, though …

    I do wonder what RHO is up to … and that depends on the customers. Most people I know would have bid 3H first time and then left it at that rather than wander back into the auction now when it is much easier for us to double for blood. If RHO has 3 hearts, partner is likely to have 2 hearts, which would make me want to reconsider my 4NT bid. But I can’t imagine a hand where partner would make a second double for takeout where we had two heart losers and a third loser somewhere opposite this, so I’ll stick with 4NT.

    In case any of that is ridiculous, I will say set out my defence now – I normally play Lebensohl in these auctions.

  • 4. khokan  |  April 23, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    I think 1D is a fine opening on hand (1). I would bid 6D at equal or favourable, but pass at unfavourable, as it’s difficult to construct a hand consistent with the bidding where 6D makes, given that partner is very unlikely to hold a 4-card major. The best is, maybe, xxx Kxx xxxxx Kx, and partner my have doubled 5S on this hand. I don’t think it’s likely that partner has a singleton club. Incidentally, this reminds me of a recent hand at all vulnerable:


    The auction proceeds:

    N E S W
    1H P 2H 4S
    5D P P 5S
    P P ?

    What does 5D mean here and what should you bid?

    Anyway, partner passed and I held:


    On hand (2), I bid 4H and convert partner’s (likely) 4S response to 5C, showing a good hand with both minors.


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