Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Flannery, Exclusion Blackwood

Yesterday in the Swiss teams at the Macon sectional, Sean and I had the following auction:

1C*-(2C)-2D; 2H-3C; 3H-3S; 5D
* any 16+hcp
2C overcall was natural
2D was natural game-forcing.
What does 5D mean?

Sean intended for it to exclusion keycard blackwood for spades. I’m not sure if I agree or not. I mean, if anything, I think it should be exclusion for hearts because bidding 2H and then 3H should set trumps. It doesn’t make sense for it to be to play 5D because he would have supported diamonds earlier or bid 4D, which certainly would be keycard for diamonds. Actually, I don’t think you should be bidding exclusion to exclude partner’s first suit. 7 of my 10 points were in diamonds. His hand: AQJx, AKQJxx, -, Qxx. At the table I passed 5D thinking that he’s now decided to play diamonds since we have no major suit fit and no club stopper. My LHO rescued us to 5H, which went down 1, for lose 12. In one sense, it’s fortunate that 5H didn’t make or the exclusion misunderstanding would have potentially cost 12 imps (-650 at the other table compared to +650 or -400 at our table) instead of only 2 imps (-620 compared with -100 or -400). It's amazing how much exclusion blackwood has come up or potentially come up lately.

Friday night, playing with Bob Pearson, he picked up: AKxx, KQTxx, xx, Kx and I had: Jxx, x, AKxxx, Qxxx. What contract would you like to be in? How do you suggest getting there, with Bob to bid first? It’s hard to stay out of 3NT, which looks like you might scrape up 8 tricks if you’re lucky. We actually play Flannery, a convention I am normally not fond of, but it worked here, until Bob decided to bid again over my 2S signoff. This here is the very reason why people do like Flannery. After 1H-1NT forcing, there are major flaws with any rebid you make, but I guess 2C is the lesser of evils. 2H emphasizes the heart suit too much, the hand isn't strong enough for 2S or 2NT, 2C could be passed in a 4-2 fit, pass could miss game and/or a heart fit. And responder would likely bid 2NT, getting you too high. A few non forcing NT people got to play in 1NT making 1 or 2 but we were with the rest of the field at -100 but probably the only one in spades.

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