What about this pairs decision?

November 5, 2009 at 7:21 am 6 comments

Speaking of pairs, I played last night, and in a very weak field, you pick up:

AK10xxx
xxx
xx
Qx

Partner opens 1NT 13-15.

After a system discussion of 5 minutes with your inexperienced partner, it seems to you that your options are:

(1) 2S natural and weakness takeout
(2) 3S 5+ forcing
(3) 4S
(4) 3NT

So what’s it to be? Or maybe you have another option under the circumstances.

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Entry filed under: MP Pairs.

Matchpoint Pairs What’s it to be? Concluded

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jill  |  November 6, 2009 at 11:13 am

    i agree re the teaching aspects, and not being totally machiavellian in approach. it occured to me yesterday, after i had already pushed the submit button, that from a teaching standpoint there are issues to address. still , the morning after, even taking into account that partner is a good declarer and that even if NT fails, there are valuable lessons to be learned, 2S still seems right. I’m obviously not an expert , but with my regular partner in a normal field, i’d tfr to spades and invite. with no agreed invitational sequences, i’d play in 2S from whichever side. just as there are lessons to be learned about the benefits of NT there are also teaching points about getting overly cute in the bidding. it is certainly possible that even with 2 experts in an expert field that spades might make more tricks than NT.

    Reply
  • 2. Chris Mulley  |  November 5, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    If I think partner is capable of ducking the first round of spades if (s)he holds two small, I’m playing this in NT. Khokan’s ideas regarding the level sound sensible to me, although I must admit that even at pairs I don’t think I could stop myself from bidding 3NT before it hit the table.

    Is this really a hand that I think I can outplay a beginner in 2S? I wouldn’t be putting large amounts of money on it. (Leaving myself wide open with that comment.)

    Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I presume that one of the main purposes of me playing this event with this partner is for them to learn from it. Me playing this hand in 2S is unlikely to be remembered, no matter how much I try explaining after the set what I could have tried in the bidding.

    Get pards to play this in NT at some level, and hope like hell that this is one of the many hands where it was right to do so. Regardless of whether partner goes down through misplay or not, hopefully they will learn something. Of course, regardless of the outcome we should also talk about the dangers in bidding like this with him/her and warn about the risks of occasionally looking VERY silly.

    On a very good day, they will remember the arguments in favour even if it was wrong on this hand. OK … I was ever the optimist.

    Reply
    • 3. cathychua  |  November 5, 2009 at 5:45 pm

      Oh. The one thing you can be assured of is that your partner’s cardplay is a million times above his bidding. He’s chess player, you see. I’m sure you follow, Chris.

      Reply
  • 4. phil markey  |  November 5, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    “since u are an expert and playing with an inexperienced pd in a ‘very weak field’, and given the abbreviated system agreements, u will likely score mucho matchpoints simply by playing 2S expertly from ur side. the par contract in the room is likely to be 2 or 3 spades. Putting an inexperienced pd into 3NT seems the least practical option, as the contract may have no play, and even if it did, it could be difficult for a new player. leaving pd in 1NT is viable but since pd is inexperienced, this may not be the optimal situation to play against the field. ur Qx of clubs is also potentially a wasted value. if the spades dont lie well there may be no access to dummy. Even if 4S makes, many will not be in it, and 2S making 10 or 11 tricks could be a good result. if the opponents bid hearts, you could potentially bid spades again at the 3 level without overstating your case.”

    +1

    Reply
  • 5. jill  |  November 5, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    since u are an expert and playing with an inexperienced pd in a ‘very weak field’, and given the abbreviated system agreements, u will likely score mucho matchpoints simply by playing 2S expertly from ur side. the par contract in the room is likely to be 2 or 3 spades. Putting an inexperienced pd into 3NT seems the least practical option, as the contract may have no play, and even if it did, it could be difficult for a new player. leaving pd in 1NT is viable but since pd is inexperienced, this may not be the optimal situation to play against the field. ur Qx of clubs is also potentially a wasted value. if the spades dont lie well there may be no access to dummy. Even if 4S makes, many will not be in it, and 2S making 10 or 11 tricks could be a good result. if the opponents bid hearts, you could potentially bid spades again at the 3 level without overstating your case.

    Reply
  • 6. khokan  |  November 5, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I’d bid 3NT at teams at any vulnerability (opposite a 15-17 NT, I’d try 4S)

    I’d pass at pairs, hoping to score the same number of tricks as those who play in spades. Opposite a 12-14 NT rebid, most players would likely sign off in 2S. With weaker spades, I’d play in spades.

    Reply

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