Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bidding adventures

Not a whole lot excitement has gone on lately in my bridge world. A couple of nights ago, I had a couple of adventures in slam bidding. You pick up: S-AJ, H-ATxx, D-AKQxx, C-Qx. How do you bid this hand after partner opens 1H? My partner held this hand and started with Jacoby 2NT, I bid 4H, he cuebid 4S, and I signed off in 5H, and he left it there. LHO then cashed the AK of clubs and the hand was over. At the club several people blasted into blackwood without concern that they didn't have a club control. with 32 hcp and all the keycards but 1, you should be in slam, right?!

Another potential slam hand both my partner and I overbid. I held:
S-AKJxxx, H-Axxxx, D-void, C-xx, and partner had:
S-Qxx, H-Kxxx, D-xxxx, C-Kx
My rho opened 1D, I bid 1S, lho bid 2D, partner raised to 2S, rho bid 3D, I bid 3H (basically a helpsuit game try), he signed off in 3S, then I cuebid 4D, which basically is first round control and confirming that 3H was really a help suit slam try. He bid 4H and I bid 4S, finally thinking I got across the message that I have a hand with good major suit holdings, a void in diamonds and no club control. Partner, though, decided the club K was enough to keep bidding. So, he bid 5C and I went on to 6S. Hearts didn't split so it seems that we would be down 1 or two depending on the position of the club ace. However, lho revoked on the 2nd spade trick and the ace of clubs was onside, so the revoke penalty allowed us to make the improbable contract.

In another interesting hand from Friday night, my partner picked up:
S-QJTx, H-Qx, D-J9x, C-A9xx
The auction went, starting on his left: 1C-1D-1NT-2D; 3C-3H-4C-?? Matchpoints, both vul, what do you do over this? Is partner or rho the crazy bidder at this table. There can't really be 55 hcp as this auction would indicate. My partner doubled, which I think is correct, even though you can expect partner to be at least 6-4 in the reds with a void in clubs. There should be enough to set 4C. Anyway, partner leads the J of hearts and dummy is xxx, Axxx, Qxx, KTx. Declarer wins the K in hand and plays a club to the K, partner playing an encouraging diamond. What do you lead after taking the Ace of clubs? Or do you duck the club? Ducking will almost certainly lead to defeating the contract because declarer will play AK and another spade, and partner shows out on the 3rd spade, so you know to play A and a club to prevent a spade ruff. But it seems so counter-intuitive to lead trumps to keep the 4333 dummy from ruffing, especially when spade and heart leads are both attractive. If partner has a spade honor, you'll beat the hand no matter what but when partner has grossly overbid his 8-count, you have to figure out a way to beat the contract assuming partner has no help in spades. And leading trumps is the only way to do that.


  1. Hmmmm. I was kibitzing the hand in which you made 6S on a revoke. I could have sworn that your partner held Qxx, xxxx, Qxxx, Kx. The bidding was as you said, but I thought that hearts split 2-2. You didn't ask for any opinions of the bidding, but if I had your hand, I would have bid 4S over 3S and hoped that it would make. Your partner took a really long time to bid 3S over 3H, but I think he confessed later that he wasn't sure what 3H was. I remember walking away thinking, "Huh, nice slam. All it takes is hearts 2-2, the club ace in the hand that didn't open the bidding, and a revoke.
    The hand just before this one was interesting too. Your partner gave declarer a ruff and sluff, which should have given you a zero on the board, but instead of a ruff and sluff, she comitted a "ruff and ruff." Then, instead of leading the suit that would force your partner (holding equal trump length to hers) to ruff, she led her stiff club so that you could force her. Two zeros converted to two tops in the two boards I watched. I left, thinking that surely you would have an 80% game!

  2. I THINK I was the partner who held AJ,A10xx,AKQxx,Qx. I would have expected to you to show first OR second round control of clubs after my 4S bid. You would have, right?

  3. 2-2 hearts and the A of clubs onside is all it takes to make the slam legitimately. Roughly 10% given the opening bid.

    I'm pretty sure Joel was my partner for that one, too. I suppose that's one of the times I would cue bid 2nd round controls at the 5 level.