Toxic assets continued.

April 24, 2009 at 9:43 am 11 comments

h1 AQ95
d1 AK8632
c 1065

Nil vul, IMPs scoring: (explanation of auction in last post)


Doesn’t the spade void look good, once partner hasn’t doubled? But are those clubs a toxic asset? Hate bidding on with no chance of making, but it has to be possible, if partner has something…..and meanwhile, why shouldn’t they be making? At least it’s going to be cheap.

So, 6D, double on my left, SK opening lead and:









After the non-club lead 6D was gin. Maybe you all hate the opening lead, but isn’t the double more at fault? Passing it around to partner to double makes it easier to start with a club, doesn’t it?

Did I go unpunished for doing something bad? Should partner have thought about doubling on the basis of his club ace? By all means pick away….

As for the other hand:

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.


I chose the same path as Khokan at this point. The cue bid and corrected 4S to 5C. But I was somewhat concerned that this might imply longer clubs then diamonds. At the same time, however, I was more concerned that 4NT after 4S might be blackwood. What about a direct 4NT bid over the double? Is that blackwood or equal length minors? And will we be bidding enough if we take the cue bid and the correction to 5C?

The auction continued:

Pass…5C…..All Pass

The whole hand is:

Board 18
Dealer E
NS Vul


The ‘Double and lead a trump’-ers are doing ok…not well enough to be excited by taking this action rather than bidding a game….and not as well as 6C. Do we want to be in 6C? Has North got more than we can expect from the second double, not forgetting that several of his HCP are irrelevant? And if we should be in slam, how do we get there???

Tomorrow: to preempt or not to preempt….that is the question.


Entry filed under: bidding, VBA.

Toxic assets. To preempt or not…

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jamie  |  April 27, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    OK,.. so I exaggerated a little when I said you forced your partner to take a phantom, but it sounded good. You allowed your partner to take the save,.. just as bad. Anyway when you play with L Gold you must X he is definitely going to bid 6D you know he can’t help himself, and he loves to play the hands.

    I had a good example from the Playoff but the hand record for this round doesnt seem to be on the web.

    I held something like



    2nd seat

    (1s) 2c (p) 4c
    (x) p (4h) p
    (p) 5c (p) p
    (5h) p (p) 6c
    x p p p.

    4c is pre-emptive

    AQ of diamonds were onside,
    My partner had Kxxxx of trumps, so 6c always made.

    It was incorrect to pass 4c x to allow them to get to 5h so that the decision now became difficult what to do.

    The other table played 5c x making 6.

  • 2. Jamie  |  April 27, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Regarding the 6D hand. One player has bid 5D,.. meaning they dont think they can make 6. That’s pretty obvious.

    Regarding the perspective from Norths hand:
    Opps bid 5s, do you think it is going to make? Highly highly unlikly with those clubs. If you pass what happens? You are allowing your partner to make a decision.

    Your partner will make one of 3 decisions

    1) Double, oh your happy because you knew it wasnt making anyway ?

    2) Pass , now you are a bit unhappy because you didnt think it was making and you wanted them to double.

    3) 6d, now you want to kill yourself for not doubling a contract you knew wasnt making, and your partner already told you that they couldnt make 6d. Thats right you have forced your partner to take a phantom.

  • 3. Peter Gill  |  April 25, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    I think the 2C overcall on the first hand is crazy (Dbl is normal)
    and I agree with Chris Mulley that the lack of a direct raise of
    the 2H opening on the 2nd hand with four card support is almost
    as crazy. The rest of the bids look relatively normal to me.

  • 4. Memphis MOJO  |  April 25, 2009 at 6:33 am

    Do you agree with North’s 3D bid on the 6D deal?

    • 5. cathychua  |  April 25, 2009 at 9:26 am

      I’d say it was spot on for the meaning of the bid….

  • 6. jill  |  April 24, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    ps 5S -2 for 200 to the defence

    any thoughts as to whether to /how to bid 6C on bd 26? (assuming the hand will be played correctly thereafter:)

  • 7. jill  |  April 24, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    re ur 2nd hand: at our table we defended 5S undoubled

    it went 2H –pass–3H–X–pass–4H–X–4S–pass–4NT–pass–5H–pass–5S–all pass

    the 4nt-er was trying to find a minor but encountered the prblem of being construed as rkcb in S. the 5H reply would be the last thing one would want to hear. as i held 5S and the auction ostensibly had a mix up it seemed best not to get greedy and just pass.

    interestingly this was the second hand of the same match with similar dilemma, earlier one, — bd 26, came to us before ur example,
    i west held:


    rho opens 2H weak with both majors, X, (2S), 3S from pd
    (?– i took as a stopper show, he meant as a stopper ask),
    pass, 4H from me, X from my left, pass, pass around to me–
    wanted to bid 4NT but thgt it might be taken for rkcb and then what do we do?, so i bid 5C and hoped pd would work it out . he passed.


    exhausted from the auction, and relieved to be in a makable 5C contract, i proceeded to underplay it for 11 tricks on H lead from the K. (– shd make 12, but i could have made 13 on the H lead:) perhaps partner and i subconsciously bid to the level of my feeble declarer play:)

    these 2 hands are sort of an SJ Simon lesson –get an ok result by not being cryptic, rather than striving for a super result and having a bidding f-up. not to say one shd chase mediocrity but when you get into such jams, sometimes u have to settle. 2H (immed 4nt) i think is clearly minors. once u double and bid and cue, it becomes more murky, and is certainly worth ironing out with pd.– which ur post has reminded us to do.

    • 8. Ben Thompson  |  April 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm

      6C is an unappealing contract on 26, particularly with the majors on your right.

      With 2H majors, your bids over 3S should be
      4H = minors
      4S = minors, longer diamonds
      If you agree that 4NT is minors (equal), then 4H shows longer clubs. It’s plausible to play 4NT as vanilla Blackwood, but it’s not very likely to occur.

      Your partner should really have bid 5C over 4H-X but I guess he was being super-careful and allowing for a natural 4H.

      How long was “majors” in the 2H opening? Normally I play that if they can be 4-4/5-4, the guy over it gets our side’s one and only chance to overcall one of their suits naturally. After that, bidding either of their suits is something artificial, suitable to the situation.

  • 9. Chris Mulley  |  April 24, 2009 at 11:08 am

    In defence of the double of 6D, maybe this was a forcing auction for E/W, so pass by West would have suggested that (s)he was happy to hear partner bid 6S … which (s)he certainly would not be happy to hear.

    I would have probably doubled 5S with the North hand. I have their side-suit sewed up so I don’t like their chances of finding 11 tricks. I get to write down more interesting scores on my scoresheet than Khokan … and have more difficulty finding teammates.

    I would also like to know whether West on Hand 2 has heard back after the brain scan his partner ordered after he passed the 2H opening at favourable vulnerability holding 4-card support and a singleton. I would have bid 4H in a flash (possibly with my partner also ordering a brain scan for me) but anyone who doesn’t bid at least 3H with this should be ordered to start playing strong twos again.

    OK – I’m not going to stop them on this hand because N has a really good hand with 4 spades and a takeout shape and hence has an easy takeout double of however many hearts I bid. But passing the West hand puts no pressure on them at all.

  • 10. khokan  |  April 24, 2009 at 10:33 am

    The only action I’d take issue with on the first hand is the double of 6D – why? I don’t think that doubling 5S on partner’s hand is indicated. As for clubs being toxic asset, as I said in my earlier post, it depends on whether partnership style is to raise immediadely with a weakish hand and 4-card major, or make a negative double. In the former style, partner might have:


    which makes 6D pretty good. Maybe there’s something to be said for bidding 4H over 3S (as long as it isn’t understood to show a 6-5)?

    Incidentally, if partner doubles, is it for a club lead, necessarily? Not in my methods.

    • 11. cathychua  |  April 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm

      No, I certainly don’t think it is necessarily for a club lead, but it does make it more likely that partner doesn’t want a spade lead, doesn’t it?


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