Archive for May, 2009

Too hard for me, continued

The question was, how to play 6NT by West on the jack of spades lead. The terrible transportation issues mean that all the good things that could happen to you, just aren’t going to.

Board 3
Dealer South
EW Vul

NORTH

sJ10952
h11095
d1653
c97

WEST

sAQ876
h187
d1J9
cA862

EAST

sK4
h1AQJ63
d1AQ72
cKJ

SOUTH

s3
h1K42
d1K1084
cQ10543

I decided to go for winning in dummy and playing another spade straight away – even one discard from RHO could be painful for him, with a bit of luck. Hooked the heart, it won, and of course that didn’t make me feel good. I almost felt more like the heart finesse was failing than if it had just failed. (Sorry, it’s 7.30 in the morning, I’m making as much sense as I can.) Diamond off the board, RHO won and exited a diamond. And? And you just don’t quite have any recourse now. RHO’s assets remain remarkably resilient, even though he has too many of them. That’s how bad your communication problems are…

In the other room, 3NT, and so a big swing out in a match we lost by a little.

On Monday, a sensational story about selection by selector that will have Peter Gill apologising to us for ever thinking of the idea!

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May 29, 2009 at 7:09 am Leave a comment

Too hard for me.

It was supposed to be a Cayne match on BBO on Sunday, but it felt more like we’d been beamed up to some other planet that had a version of bridge I didn’t quite get.

WEST

sAQ876
h187
d1J9
cA862

EAST

sK4
h1AQJ63
d1AQ72
cKJ

Yeah, sorry, you’re too high again – 6NT by West. Without communication difficulties this might not be such a bad spot. But on the SJ opening lead – that after you have opened 1S – let’s just say I didn’t get that warm and cosy feeling you like to have after dummy comes down….

What’s the best plan to make the most of it?

(Comments suppressed for now.)

May 28, 2009 at 11:16 am 9 comments

Still at the six level.

I just wanted to start off by thanking the hundreds of people quietly stalking this blog. I’m sure you are there because I have such a terrific band of players involved in the commentary, so of course thanks to you all too. (Don’t feel like you can’t join in….) Hope everybody’s having fun.

Tomorrow a play hand – it’s been a while!

Yesterday was another ‘oh my God, if they’re at the six level and I have 2 aces they must be making’ sort of a hand. It’s funny, isn’t it? That we can feel so much more confident they are making if we can see actual cold hard tricks in our hand!

s76
h1AQ87632
d1A764
c

All vulnerable, sitting West:

West…..North…..East…..South
……………………3S……..Dble
4S……..6C……….Pass…..Pass
?

I was with Khokan and Ben on this one, it must be cold, it must be going down. I did go with double and that was +800 along with +600 for 3NT making in the other room. Desperately needed, as you will see tomorrow when we look at a play hand.

Cayne vs Victoria
Board 10
Dealer East
All Vul

NORTH

sAJ2
h15
d11083
cAKQ543

WEST

s76
h1AQ87632
d1A764
c—-

EAST

sK109854
h1
d192
cJ10876

SOUTH

sQ3
h1KJ1094
d1KQJ5
c92

Strange hand, isn’t it? It seems to me like everybody pretty much has their bid and yet what a result!

Of course, I suspect that if I’d given the hand as an East bidding problem, most people, especially at the vulnerability, would not have chosen 3S. It certainly gave South a difficult decision. In the other room East began with 2S and the following peculiar auction ensued:

West…..North…..East…..South
…………………….2S…….Pass
Pass…..3C………Pass….Pass
3H…….Pass……Pass….Dble
Pass….3S………Pass…3NT – finally, we arrive!
All Pass

May 27, 2009 at 9:04 am 5 comments

Deciding at the six level again….

Cayne vs Singapore
Board 5
Dealer North
NS Vul

NORTH

sQ873
h1A4
d1J64
cAQJ10

WEST

sA64
h1Q1032
d1A10872
c5

EAST

sKJ10952
h187
d1Q953
c9

SOUTH

s
h1KJ965
d1K
cK876432

This hand is from Singapore vs Cayne on Saturday. The question was, with that West hand, after the auction 1C…3S…6C….do you bid? Bridgeboy passed but various people, whom I guess had already seen the hand, told him he should have bid on. Well, yes, I would have too if I’d seen the hands. Personally it isn’t clear to me that this save is going to be particularly cheap, especially if the club shortage is duplicated.

I thought it auto to pass. Simon same and so too the panel – even a double! – but no bidders on.

It was a big loss when this happened in the other room:

West……North…..East…..South
………….1NT……2D……..3D
Dble……Pass…….3S……..4C
4S………5C……….5S………6C
Dble……Pass……6S………Pass
Pass……Dble……All Pass

So, unlucky result, brought on by the fits of guilt of East in this room thinking he didn’t have his bid and that partner would be playing him for tricks!?

It does seem to be a theme at the moment – 6 level decisions with unlikely numbers of aces. On the weekend too came this one:

s76
h1AQ87632
d1A764
c

All vulnerable, sitting West:

West…..North…..East…..South
……………………3S……..Dble
4S……..6C……….Pass…..Pass
?

Would it be the biggest surprise in the world to be making six spades opposite a vulnerable 3S bid? Especially with the heart finesse most likely to be working? Not that I’m trying to talk you into anything here….

May 25, 2009 at 1:56 pm 5 comments

Deciding at the six level.

I had another hand in mind for today, this is more relevant to recent discussion. It was given to me yesterday. (As usual comments are suppressed on this post for now.)

Not vul vs vul, sitting West you hold:

sA64
h1Q1032
d1A10872
c5

and before you know it, you are making your first call at the six level:

West….North….East….South

………..1C……..3S…….6C
?

May 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm 4 comments

3NT vs 5 of a minor continued

Board 6
Dealer East
EW Vul

NORTH

sK7
h1AQ875
d1J95
cJ65

WEST

s10
h1J32
d1A10742
cQ932

EAST

sA9854
h1K
d1KQ8
cK1084

SOUTH

sQJ632
h110974
d163
cA7

If you hate the 1NT opening, I can’t see that opening 1S gets EW to to game:

1S…..1NT
2C…..Surely this is a routine pass. With a singleton in partner’s suit, only 4 trumps of indifferent quality, nothing in the side suits to get excited about – if I’m raising this to 3C I’ll be failing there for no good reason on lots of hands and maybe inciting partner to bid on when he shouldn’t.

And, indeed, in the other room, after a Precision spade opening, responder passed. North balanced with a double and South’s 2H ended proceedings. Yes, opener could have competed in passout, but that was hardly going to get them to 5C. Admittedly the opener was at the top of his range, which is why his partner didn’t bother bidding on….but that’s the whole point isn’t it? If you open 1S on this hand and rebid 2C, you are STILL approximately at the top of your range, aren’t you? We certainly are, though it is true we play more sound responses to opening bids than most people do.

Both Ben and Khokan in comments yesterday complained about the opening bid and yet the fact is, on the auction as given, everybody reached the correct contract because they had the relevant information to do so…information you are never getting after a 1S opening.

Could it really be true? That I’ve won an argument on my blog? I’m feeling pretty comfy about it right now….

On Monday a dramatic example of a rule we all know….but do we always believe in it? You will now….

May 22, 2009 at 8:57 am 31 comments

3NT vs 5 of a minor

Another deal from a match last weekend against the Cayne team.

As usual, comments will be temporarily suppressed.

sA9854
h1K
d1KQ8
cK1084

1NT…..3H

where 3H shows 0/1 spade, 3 hearts exactly and the minors, about 8-12 HCP, ie only game interest unless opener has something highly appropriate. Over this 3S would show such a hand. 3NT is to play. 4C is forcing and 4 plus.

So what should you do? Is this a 3NT hand or a 5C hand?

May 21, 2009 at 7:27 am 5 comments

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