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Another Bridge Movie

#1 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-May-08, 13:45

Imps. Friendly team game. You and partner are the strongest pair in the game, but your opps have 20,000+ mps so are not by any stretch weak players.

You pick up 853 AKJ2 A95 754. Edit: partner deals, nobody vulnerable, and opens 1D. RHO passes

You respond 1H, LHO bids 1S and partner makes a support double, passed to you.

Your style is to open almost all 11 counts, but his support double wasn’t mandatory if he has a really bad hand. Jxx xxx KJxx AQx would open but usually pass over 1S. Our 1N opening would have been 14-16. So he will often have around 12-13 hcp, but could have more with some shape.

With your 12 hcp you’re certainly interested in game but xxx in spades is not good, and 3433 shape isn’t great either. The lack of a raise in spades is a little worrying, suggesting spade values for partner, but west may have extra length and/or strength.

At this point, you may belong anywhere from 2D to 3N to 4H.

You want to involve partner, but how?

1N is often the best call even with no stopper in a suit bid by the opps. Partner would show his support before bidding 1N: say QJx Qxx KJxxx Ax

But 1N is a big underbid even ignoring the obvious spade flaw. It’s how you’d bid with Kxx Kxxx Jxx Kxx

2N has the same stopper flaw, only worse: while 1N needn’t promise a stopper, I think 2N pretty much has too. It’s right on values but too misleading on stoppers.

2D is too little and risks playing in a weak 4-3 fit (with 4333, he’d open 1C so he has at least 4 diamonds). He will always pass 2D unless he has a big hand…more than you’d need for game

3D is about right on values but short on diamonds. It’s main upside is that it may encourage him to bid 3N.

So how about 3H?

Many bridge players have an unwarranted aversion to moysian (4-3) fits, but sometimes they are the best fit possible. 3H doesn’t invite 3N as much as does 3D, since partner will think we have 5+ hearts, but it’s right on strength. And it may well be the best game.

So you bid 3H.

P 4H all pass

You await dummy with interest



The opening lead is the spade Ace, suggesting the King. RHO plays a low spot. They play udca but it’s not clear what this is supposed to suggest.

LHO switches to the diamond 6.

We’re in a decent contract. I could ruff a spade or two but I have entry issues and a trump worry. Ideally I’d like to run diamonds at some point, but this shift could be a stiff.

It can’t hurt to win this in hand. Small from dummy and RHO produces the expected 10.

I can afford to lose a diamond ruff so long as LHO is ruffing a loser, not an honour. Plus if he does ruff, that might usefully shorten his trump.

So at trick 3 you play a second diamond…to which you’re pleased to see LHO follow, completing a high-low.

If the heart Queen is onside, no more than 4 times, we can pull trump and run the minor winners, making an overtrick without even bothering to ruff a spade.

So it seems right to run the heart 10.

It holds, with neither opp playing anything but a low spot.

What now?

You could finesse again. If RHO has Qxxxx you ruff a spade, and play diamonds, pitching a spade when he ruffs in. You will score 3 diamonds you let him ruff a second time), a spade ruff, the top clubs and 4 trump in your hand, so would survive. Meanwhile, you make 11 tricks otherwise if the heart Queen is onside.

But this is imps. You’ve reached an excellent 4-3 game, and while they may match it at the other table, this is the sort of hand where non-experts can struggle. So you stop to ask yourself the most important question there is when it looks as if things are going well: what could go wrong?

What if LHO has Qxxx in trump? You lose the second finesse and back comes a spade, forcing you to ruff in dummy. You have no entry back to your hand to draw trump. You cash a top diamond and LHO ruffs, cashes a spade and exits a club. You are in dummy with void void xx Axx opposite in hand void AK void xxx. You’ve lost 3 tricks. You could ruff a diamond high, pull the last trump, but now you have a club loser. And playing clubs let’s LHO score a ruff.

This takes a little time but it can be time well spent…..or not, should the heart Queen be onside.

Can we deal with Qxxx offside?

After the heart 10 held the trick, come to the heart Ace, both following. Now play a diamond.

LHO can ruff, but if he returns a heart to stop the spade ruff, we have 4 trump, 4 diamonds and the club AK.

If he gives us the ruff, we simply play another diamond winner, pitching our last spade. He scores two trumps and a spade but we have the rest.

If he plays a club, we win in dummy and play another diamond, driving out his last trump while preserving a spade ruff.

Note that we’re safe if hearts were 3-3 all along.

If RHO has Qxxx in hearts, we embark on the same approach…we run diamonds through him. He could pitch spades, but once LHO fails to ruff a diamond, we’re in complete control. I will leave the details to the reader.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#2 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2022-May-08, 16:46

(Quick note - looks like an extra bidding diagram needs to be edited into the top of the post to make the intro more understandable.)
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#3 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-May-08, 17:53

View Postsmerriman, on 2022-May-08, 16:46, said:

(Quick note - looks like an extra bidding diagram needs to be edited into the top of the post to make the intro more understandable.)

Sorry about that. I mistakenly removed a bidding sequence when editing🥸. Thanks for the post. I inserted a bidding sequence
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#4 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 14:58

"Anybody who raises 1 of a major to 2 with three trumps and six points has no idea what he's doing. I know this because I have 2000 master points." -- A local player :ph34r:
--------------------
As for tv, screw it. You aren't missing anything. -- Ken Berg
I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
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#5 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 18:02

mikeh 'Imps. Friendly team game. You and partner are the strongest pair in the game, but your opps have 20,000+ mps so are not by any stretch weak players. You pick up 853 AKJ2 A95 754. Edit: partner deals, nobody vulnerable, and opens 1D. RHO passes. You respond 1H, LHO bids 1S and partner makes a support double, passed to you. Your style is to open almost all 11 counts, but his support double wasn't mandatory if he has a really bad hand. Jxx xxx KJxx AQx would open but usually pass over 1S. Our 1N opening would have been 14-16. So he will often have around 12-13 hcp, but could have more with some shape. With your 12 hcp you're certainly interested in game but xxx in spades is not good, and 3433 shape isn't great either. The lack of a raise in spades is a little worrying, suggesting spade values for partner, but west may have extra length and/or strength. At this point, you may belong anywhere from 2D to 3N to 4H. You want to involve partner, but how?
1N is often the best call even with no stopper in a suit bid by the opps. Partner would show his support before bidding 1N: say QJx Qxx KJxxx Ax. But 1N is a big underbid even ignoring the obvious spade flaw. It's how you'd bid with Kxx Kxxx Jxx Kxx. 2N has the same stopper flaw, only worse: while 1N needn't promise a stopper, I think 2N pretty much has too. It's right on values but too misleading on stoppers. 2D is too little and risks playing in a weak 4-3 fit (with 4333, he'd open 1C so he has at least 4 diamonds). He will always pass 2D unless he has a big hand…more than you'd need for game. 3D is about right on values but short on diamonds. It's main upside is that it may encourage him to bid 3N.

So how about 3H? Many bridge players have an unwarranted aversion to moysian (4-3) fits, but sometimes they are the best fit possible. 3H doesn't invite 3N as much as does 3D, since partner will think we have 5+ hearts, but it's right on strength. And it may well be the best game.
So you bid 3H.

P 4H all pass
You await dummy with interest


The opening lead is the spade Ace, suggesting the King. RHO plays a low spot. They play udca but it's not clear what this is supposed to suggest. LHO switches to the diamond 6. We're in a decent contract. I could ruff a spade or two but I have entry issues and a trump worry. Ideally I'd like to run diamonds at some point, but this shift could be a stiff. It can't hurt to win this in hand. Small from dummy and RHO produces the expected 10. I can afford to lose a diamond ruff so long as LHO is ruffing a loser, not an honour. Plus if he does ruff, that might usefully shorten his trump. So at trick 3 you play a second diamond…to which you're pleased to see LHO follow, completing a high-low.
If the heart Queen is onside, no more than 4 times, we can pull trump and run the minor winners, making an overtrick without even bothering to ruff a spade. So it seems right to run the heart 10. It holds, with neither opp playing anything but a low spot.

What now? You could finesse again. If RHO has Qxxxx you ruff a spade, and play diamonds, pitching a spade when he ruffs in. You will score 3 diamonds you let him ruff a second time), a spade ruff, the top clubs and 4 trump in your hand, so would survive. Meanwhile, you make 11 tricks otherwise if the heart Queen is onside. But this is imps. You've reached an excellent 4-3 game, and while they may match it at the other table, this is the sort of hand where non-experts can struggle. So you stop to ask yourself the most important question there is when it looks as if things are going well: what could go wrong?

What if LHO has Qxxx in trump? You lose the second finesse and back comes a spade, forcing you to ruff in dummy. You have no entry back to your hand to draw trump. You cash a top diamond and LHO ruffs, cashes a spade and exits a club. You are in dummy with void void xx Axx opposite in hand void AK void xxx. You've lost 3 tricks. You could ruff a diamond high, pull the last trump, but now you have a club loser. And playing clubs let's LHO score a ruff.

This takes a little time but it can be time well spent…..or not, should the heart Queen be onside. Can we deal with Qxxx offside? After the heart 10 held the trick, come to the heart Ace, both following. Now play a diamond.
- LHO can ruff, but if he returns a heart to bstop the spade ruff, we have 4 trump, 4 diamonds and the club AK. If he gives us the ruff, we simply play another diamond winner, pitching our last spade. He scores two trumps and a spade but we have the rest.
- If he plays a club, we win in dummy and play another diamond, driving out his last trump while preserving a spade ruff. Note that we're safe if hearts were 3-3 all along.
- If RHO has Qxxx in hearts, we embark on the same approach…we run diamonds through him. He could pitch spades, but once LHO fails to ruff a diamond, we're in complete control. I will leave the details to the reader.

+++++++++++++++++++
Thank you Mike :)
3 deserves the bidding Brilliancy prize :)
A lesson in imaginative bidding and delicate declarer-play :)


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