Doing a Ponting

August 24, 2009 at 11:53 am 6 comments

What a way to lose the Ashes. Did you watch Ponting run himself out last night? Well, I did that against Cayne on Sunday. Never mind the details, I want to show them to you about as much as Ponting wants you to watch reruns of his walk back to the pavilion.

It did, however, set the scene for a fascinating last board. We were three IMPs behind.

Bd 28
Dlr W
Vul NS









David and I bid

2D……All Pass

I made +130. We finished first, went to the other table to see that the auction had started the same way, but in passout Neil Ewart had balanced with 2S.

This looked cold and suddenly we were going to win easily on the last board. But look at what Irka did to beat it. She cashed two hearts and shifted to the two of clubs! Neil looked at that, found out that her 2D bid was 3+, thought…and thought…and thought… and then played low. AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. That’s no way to save a Ponting! Two spades was now one down via the club ruff. Well done Irka and well done Neil for coming so close to doing the ‘right’ thing.


Entry filed under: Cayne matches. Tags: .

Chess and technology What’s the right action with this?

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Peter Gill  |  August 27, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    With 5 diamonds, surely E or W would compete to 3D not vul,
    so diamonds are likely to be 4-4. East not competing to 3D with 4 diamonds is due to his worry that West is 3532.

    With a singleton club, West might switch at Trick 2, and you are not making 2S then anyway. Also, if West is 3541, then East with only 2 spades is a bit more likely to compete to 3D. West is not 1453 or else East would respond 1S. So West is likely to be 2542.

    With Qx in clubs, CQ is a possible switch, in case West has AJx or Jxxxx for example. . From Ax with the king in dummy, a small club is fairly cost-free, since declarer can always lead low towards CK later.

    It can be useful to assign average point-counts to opponents when they have both bid. 13-7 would be average on this auction (Pass of 2D with 2 hearts being unlikely to be 8-9).
    13 less HAK = 6.
    W:6-E:7 … minus one ace each = 2-3. Thus if diamond Q and J are split, that gives East CQ. Not conclusive at all, but it doesn’t contradict the earlier tendencies towards playing West for CA.

    With only small spades (no SA), perhaps East is more likely to compete to 3D. This tends to give SA to West and thus CA to West, if the aces are split as is likely.

    Plus all that Phil said. So there was plenty to ponder about.

    False preference works quite well. East might bid 2H over 2D, then 3D over 2S.

    Peter Gill.

  • 2. David Morgan  |  August 25, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    I couldn’t hear if Ponting said anything when the shot was played but it was clearly Hussey’s call so holding Ponting responsible is harsh. The batsmen are a partnership so there is some collective responsibility, as with bridge, but this seems closer to a declarer play error: it shows up on the partnership’s record but is usually the responsibility of the person making the decision.

    As to what inferences to draw from the bidding: it’s unclear. If Irka and partner played a forcing NT American style (which they don’t appear to on the deals that arose when I’ve played against Cayne) E would have bid 2H over 2D with his actual hand: passing 2D would usually show 5D or a singleton H. Irka clearly doesn’t have 6H so . . . And if E had 5D and two aces then he would surely have taken another bid, either raising 2D directly (the choice of most [all?] US experts because 2S is available to show a good raise) or balancing over 2S.

    OTOH, the actual layout appears to be the only one which threatens the contract — surely with the same shape and two aces E would bid 2H rather than pass 2D so as to give partner another chance: even playing their Polish Club-type system Irka could still have had a good hand.


  • 3. Jonathan Mestel  |  August 25, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Oh. Did you lose the ashes? Who against?

    Pont is French for bridge of course. So maybe Ponting
    is doing what we all do…

    Dust to dust..

  • 4. phil markey  |  August 25, 2009 at 10:44 am

    “It’s a very standard treatment there for opener’s 2 of a minor over 1NT to show 3+…which would certainly make pass on the other hand auto.”

    i’m still confused

    what shape will west be to have 3 diamonds ? – perhaps if the 1nt response was forcing it starts to make some sense but i still dont get it – in any event surely with 5 diamonds east would of either coutesy raised or not sold to 2 spades – west still has Hx in clubs

    i suppose west could have


    but thats 1 specific possibility amongst many and in my system east has breached the “its always an invitation with 2 stingers” rule

  • 5. phil markey  |  August 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    i courtesy raise to 3 diamonds with the east cards

    i dont get why you would bid 2 diamonds non forcing with only 3 diamonds ?? – anyway east promised that west has 2+ spades and presumably west has 5 hearts and given that we need west not to have a stiff club west has Hx in clubs not Hxx

    if its Hx then east has to have the spade ace for there to be a problem so west must have the club ace

    auto to rise king

    • 6. cathychua  |  August 24, 2009 at 6:57 pm

      It’s a very standard treatment there for opener’s 2 of a minor over 1NT to show 3+…which would certainly make pass on the other hand auto.


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