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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Whose Hand is this, anyway?

We do not mind overcalling at the one level with a shapely hand and not many high-card points, even perhaps if we are vulnerable. We might be a bit shy at doing so if we are at the 2-level. How would you feel at doing so at the 3 level?

A nice void and 6-5 shape but only 6 hcp? Would you? What would be the effect if you decided to pass?

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North Deals
E-W Vul
 
N
W   E
S
 
A Q 10 6 4
5 2
9 7 6 4 3 2
West North East South
  2  Pass 2 
Pass 3  ?  

 

2Club-small was Standard Precision, 11-15 with just clubs or clubs and a major. 2Heart-small was constructive (i.e. had some value) but was not forcing. 3Club-small showed no tolerance for hearts and usually just long clubs and a minimum.

Would you bid now? If so, what?

You elected not to call after North’s opening bid because you are just too weak. Has it got easier to call second time round?

Peter Newell “Double: I think it is pretty tough choice.  It looks to me like partner probably has about 4 hearts, and at least 4 clubs. So, that does not give him many cards in my suits.  It also looks like partner has a fair number of points, say 13-14. 

On a good day, we will make game if partner fits spades well: on a bad day, we will may go down doubled in something, or defend 3Club-small doubled.  Given my failure to bid over 2Club-small, double of 3Club-small should show a 2 suiter in spades and diamonds too weak to bid the first time, and with pronounced distribution to be coming in when the opponents may not have a fit.

 At Pairs I’ll double if I trust partner is on the same wavelength as to hand type and that he shouldn’t feel uncomfortable about bidding a 3-card suit and will not expect much defence. So, if he passes, he is prepared…., a bottom is a bottom at Pairs…I would be more reluctant at Teams as in Pairs part-scores matter more and disasters less…..”

The point is that now we know that our partner does have values whereas a round earlier we do not. Bidding and like Peter with an eye on possible disaster is:

Matt Brown “3Diamond-small: Partner is marked with values and I've already denied them by passing 2Club-small. If they double very quickly, I can run to 3Spade-small. 🙂

And starting off with their shorter suit is:

Bruce Anderson “3Spade-small: I would like to double showing spades and diamonds but it seems to me a double here should be for penalties.   Partner could well have an opening hand with four spades. Then game may be possible. But if their hand is relatively flat, they prefer to defend if I don’t bid. Sure, we could get into trouble but I have an escape suit and you do not win at Pairs (or Teams) by passing with distributional hands.”

A different view from Peter Newell on what double after initially passing does mean…and a prediction that passing now will end the auction.

However, passing has its supporters, too.

Stephen Blackstock “Pass: Looks like partner’s hand is hearts and clubs. Sure, if I double, we might get them for a number, but if his clubs are weak, 3Club-small could easily make, and we will often have nowhere to go. And we will have a better chance of going plus on defence if I don’t provide declarer with a road map……”

Nigel Kearney “Pass: I hate passing with this much shape and there may be an apology in my near future. But partner could easily have most of his hand in their suits. So, I don't want to commit us to play at the three level or higher vulnerable. It's also a very easy auction for them to make a penalty double.”

So, we have three bidders to two passers but the bidders all take different actions. Peter Newell said he would only double if he felt his partner understood what this double meant …and I am rather on the side of Bruce Anderson’s interpretation.

Those who accept bidding could give them some regret when they heard double used were onto a winner this time as the double card would stay firmly away from the table. These were the four hands:

North Deals
E-W Vul
9 7 5 3
J
K Q 8
K Q 10 8 4
K 2
A Q 10 8 3
A J
J 5 3 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
A Q 10 6 4
5 2
9 7 6 4 3 2
 
J 8
K 9 7 6 4
10 5
A 9 7 6
West North East South
  2  Pass 2 
Pass 3  ?  

 

As the Panel predicted, one’s partner had clubs and hearts and an opening hand…and their clubs were relatively weak. The good news for East-West is that the computer prediction is that 3Club-small will be defeated by one trick, though it looks very close. However, this is Pairs and East-West can score better than +50 or +100 by bidding. There is absolutely no way West would bid over 3Club-small if East passed. Indeed, it is very doubtful they would bid if East doubled.

While a few Pairs tried game in spades with varying degrees of success or failure, the game that does make and the part-score which does score the best is the 6-2 diamond fit where declarer can successfully ruff a spade, take a working heart finesse and lose just two trump tricks, +600 or +150 beating the legitimate maximum of +140 in spades.

act now.jpg

Bidding to a game needing a lot to go right is not really necessary playing Pairs. You risk a lot when you could have scored well with +140 or +150. Indeed, either of those scores were worth around 80% of the match-points in a strong Open field.

Walking a Tightrope.

It’s Pairs and the bidding is fast and furious.

West Deals
N-S Vul
A 10 6 4
Q J 4
K Q J 5 2
4
Q 2
5 2
A 8 7 4
A K 6 5 2
 
N
W   E
S
   
West North East South
you dummy    
1  Dbl 5  5 
6  Dbl Pass 6 
All pass      

 

Your 1Club-small promised at least 2 clubs. So, with substantially more, the right vulnerability and a partner with a handful and more of the suit, you bid 6Club-small. However, South is not to be denied.

 You lead Diamond-smallA and the first round goes Diamond-small2 Diamond-small6 from your partner and Diamond-small10 from declarer. You are still on lead….what next?

Richard Solomon

 

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