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Jan’s Day: A Time to Bid and a Time to Pass.

We look today at the subject of balancing. Sometimes, we balance and find a making contract or else we push them one level higher than they want to be. We may even go for a smaller minus score than we would have suffered had we let them play their contract. They are all very good reasons to enter the bidding before it ends.

However, there are down-sides and not just needlessly conceding - 800! Take a look:

One simple bidding sequence and two different West hands:

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

 
South Deals
None Vul
   
A K 10
J 10
K J 7 5 3
J 9 8
 
N
W   E
S
   
West North East South
      1 
Pass 2  Pass Pass
?      

and

South Deals
N-S Vul
   
10 9 3 2
J 10 3
Q J 10 8
A Q
 
N
W   E
S
   
West North East South
      1 
Pass 2  Pass Pass
?      

jan cormack 2021  1.jpg
Jan Cormack

 

“Most of us sometimes experience that “I wish I kept my mouth shut” feeling. Our West would have wished she had remained silent on the following two deals both of which came from the 1984 Women’s National Trials.

I partnered Kathy Boardman on both deals, we being North-South. On both occasions, our auction had died at 2Heart-small. On both occasions, West had passed on the first round but decided to enter the auction with a re-opening double.

South Deals
None Vul
7 5 4 3
Q 8 2
A 4 2
K 10 5
A K 10
J 10
K J 7 5 3
J 9 8
 
N
W   E
S
 
Q J 9 2
7 6
Q 10 9 6
Q 4 3
 
8 6
A K 9 5 4 3
8
A 7 6 2
West North East South
      1 
Pass 2  Pass Pass
Dbl Rdbl Pass Pass
3  Pass Pass 4 
All pass      

 

Sitting South, Kathy decided to pass my limit raise to 2Heart-small. I cannot really blame West for re-opening but it gave me the opportunity to tell my partner I had maximum values for my 2Heart-small raise. I passed West’s 3Diamond-small bid (East’s failure to bid 2Spade-small seems strange). Kathy jumped to 4Heart-small reasoning my hand had no wasted values in diamonds. (no double of 3Diamond-small)

Indeed, I did not and 4Heart-small made with ease for the loss of two spades and one club trick. On then to the second deal:

South Deals
N-S Vul
A K
Q 8 7 6
5 3 2
9 6 4 2
10 9 3 2
J 10 3
Q J 10 8
A Q
 
N
W   E
S
 
8 6 5 4
2
A K 7 6 4
10 7 3
 
Q J 7
A K 9 5 4
9
K J 8 5
West North East South
      1 
Pass 2  Pass Pass
Dbl Rdbl 2  3 
Pass 4  All pass  

 

Again, the auction could have been passed out in 2Heart-small and Kathy and I would have missed a vulnerable game. Again, it was West who came to our rescue as, once more the maximum-showing redouble came into good use. This time, Kathy showed her second suit and with the double fit, I jumped to game.

With clubs playing for just two losers, 10 tricks were again made fairly comfortably.

I am not usually one to take a passive role, especially when it comes to bidding. Nevertheless, in the pass-out protecting seat, a major consideration must be the possibility of pushing one’s opponents to a makeable game.

you awake partner.jpg

" You awake, partner?"

You have a partner over there and if he/she has shown absolutely no indication to compete in the auction after your initial pass, it usually does indicate that the board belongs to your opposition.”   

In both cases above, East-West were not vulnerable which might give you a little more license to “balance”. However, in neither example did West have a perfect balancing double. In the first example, they did not have four spades and in the second, they had a poor spade suit and an even worse holding in clubs. Maybe, in both cases, they did get their just desserts.

 

“CARE” for less experienced players and others

 a word to ponder for tomorrow’s deal:

South Deals
E-W Vul
Q J 10 5 3
A K 10 8 2
J
J 7
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
A K 7 6
Q J 3
A 10 6 4 3 2
West North East South
      1 
4  Dbl 5  5 
All pass      

 

You are playing Pairs. West leads Club-smallK. Plan the play.

Richard Solomon

 

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