Archive for October, 2009

Man or mouse? Continues.

NORTH

s86
h1A872
d1
cAK109762

WEST

sAKQ5
h14
d1AKQ109832
c

EAST

sJ107
h110953
d1J54
cJ84

SOUTH

s9432
h1KQJ6
d176
cQ53

The hand is from the Spring Nationals semifinal. In one room the West hand asked for specific aces with 4NT, North passed, East showed none and West signed off in 6D. Should this ambition to bid seven by West encourage North to bid on principle? Pauline Gumby thought not. +1370.

In the other room Simon Hinge thought nothing of trying his luck at the seven level, doubled and -500 for a swing to the eventual losers. All that rubber bridge, no doubt. Steels the nerves.

Thanks to Rainer for doing a simulation, see his comments under yesterday’s post.

I think we could call this a man nor mouse situation as well:

WEST

sA1093
h17
d17532
cKQ65

SOUTH

s4
h1QJ10432
d1J1086
cJ4

You sit West:

West….North….East….South
……………………………Pass
Pass…..1H…….Pass…..4H
Pass…..6H…….All Pass

Partner leads the DK, taken by declarer’s ace. Then ace and another trump to dummy and partner discards the S5, playing reverse count. I’m not sure why declarer did this as it must be wrong on principle to let the defenders make a possibly useful discard here. Still, there you are. You now have all weekend to make the decision about what you are going to do SMOOTHLY and in tempo on the spade off dummy at trick four. I’d prefer to give you one nanosecond to do that, but unfortunately it is out of my control.

See you Monday.

October 30, 2009 at 5:49 am 8 comments

Man or mouse?

All vul you pick up:

s86
h1A872
d1
cAK109762

Third in hand RHO opens 6D. What are you doing over that?

Comments suppressed for now.

October 29, 2009 at 5:38 am 7 comments

Two bidding problems. Concluded.

Regarding the first of these hands, it’s clear there are a lot of issues. What is the forcing status of 2D and of 2H, if bid over 2D? I’m with the majority who begin with 2C on this hand. If you start with 1H the only way you get lucky is partner raising them. In my opinion the forcing status of 2D doesn’t really matter. Even if it is limited and non-forcing, which is my preference – ie it is a bid which is descriptive – it still does’t mean that hearts isn’t cold for game.

The hand was given to me by Khokan who suffered playing 3C on his six heart hand when this was the layout and the auction:

xxx
AKJx
A10xxx
x

x
109xxx

AKJ10xxx

N S
1D 2C
2D 3C
P

Meanwhile in the other room, South hit the jackpot with a 1H initial response which got his side to 4H.

As Khokan notes, it would be useful to generate a bunch of hands and actually see statistically what is best to do. One of those things bridge players always think about doing but rarely find the time for!

Firstly:

sx
h1109xxx
d1
cAKJ10xxx

(1) What do you respond to 1D? More questions to come on this one, but we’ll start there.

There is consensus to respond 2C.

(2) So, what now after 2D from partner?

See you all tomorrow for a defence problem.

October 28, 2009 at 9:47 am 8 comments

Two bidding problems continued.

Firstly:

sx
h1109xxx
d1
cAKJ10xxx

(1) What do you respond to 1D? More questions to come on this one, but we’ll start there.

There is consensus to respond 2C.

(2) So, what now after 2D from partner?

Secondly:

sK3
h1AQ9
d1AK10964
cQ2

West….North…..East….South
……………………………1C (3+)
Dble…..1S………2D…….Dble (3 card raise)
?

Your partnership arrangement is that once they have bid 2 suits cues show, not ask for, stoppers in that suit.

I must say, 3NT looks like a completely normal punt to me. Sorry, I’ve added the information that opener showed support, which probably increases the chances of a spade lead. Clubs might break…and 5D is going to be way off, with 2 club losers and some if partner can’t help bolster your holding there.

Still, we played it on BBO and one of my esteemed opponents said to me, after my partner bid 3NT and made it opposite QJxxx diamonds and the ace of clubs, that ‘no bridge player in the world would bid 3NT with that hand’. Now, I’m sorry, I’m not trying to insult you guys all of whom quite like the bid. I’m with you! But I am pleased to see support for the idea…

Having said that, however, after the game I talked to David about it. It transpired he thought the opening bid was 1H, his double stopper. And there I was – and you all – supporting his thoughtful solution to the problem!

Comments suppressed for now.

October 27, 2009 at 8:32 am 6 comments

Two bidding problems.

Firstly:

sx
h1109xxx
d1
cAKJ10xxx

(1) What do you respond to 1D? More questions to come on this one, but we’ll start there.

Secondly:

sK3
h1AQ9
d1AK10964
cQ2

West….North…..East….South
……………………………1C (3+)
Dble…..1S………2D…….Pass
?

Your partnership arrangement is that once they have bid 2 suits cues show, not ask for, stoppers in that suit.

Comments suppressed for now.

October 26, 2009 at 9:10 am 3 comments

Bridge and the environment

I’ve been involved in online discussions lately about the desperate plight of the planet and how/whether it might be possible to save it.

It strikes me that of the many easy steps that could be taken, one is to end physical events which can take place virtually, bridge being an obvious example. Chess and conferences (eg academic) are other terribly obvious candidates of absolutely unnecessary travel with all that entails environmentally.

There is a human tendency to think ‘if nobody else is doing anything much, why should I?’ There is also a tendency to think, ‘hey, I’ve given up plastic bags, I have to do MORE?’ Yet it seems to me if everybody just started doing what they could, all sorts of small things – eg for us, giving up chess and bridge tournaments – would all start adding up.

Well, what do you all think about this? Opinions keenly awaited!

October 19, 2009 at 4:07 pm 11 comments

Play problem concluded.

Contract: 6S
Opening lead: DQ

sKQJ3
h1Q43
d13
cAK982

sA9874
h1A
d1A7652
c65

Plan the play.

Please refer to yesterday’s comments for various suggestions. The deal comes from Kelsey-Bourke Bridge Quiz for Improving Players. The answer given there, p. 58 is

‘The safest line is to reverse the dummy and establish the clubs. You should succeed whenever the clubs are 3-3, and also when the clubs are 4-2 and trumps no worse than 3-1. Unblock the ace of hearts at trick two and then enter dummy to ruff a heart. Return to dummy with a second club and ruff the last heart. Crossing back to dummy with a trump, you ruff a club with the ace of spades. [In the example layout] the clubs fail to break evenly, but you simply draw trumps [3-1] and conceded a club, leaving dummy high.’

Having set about the hand pretty much as has everybody else, but knowing that I was up against two excellent analysts, I gave the hand to Robby van Riel, who played it thus:

Diamond ace, diamond ruff, heart ace diamond ruff. If diamonds are 4-3, then spade king. If everybody follows you are cold. If spades are 4-0 heart ruff, cash the ace and king of clubs, heart ruff, diamond ruffed, and SA9 must win – this is a cute ending. If someone pitches on the second diamond, heart ruff, club ace and king, heart ruff, diamond ruff, club ruff with the spade ace, diamond ruff and one of S98 makes a trick by weight.

See you Monday.

October 16, 2009 at 11:57 am 3 comments

Older Posts


October 2009
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 11 other followers