Thursday, February 4, 2010

Downgrading Hands

I’m not an aggressive bidder (or a conservative bidder) by any definition of the terms, but I am certainly not one known to downgrade a hand, going against the field, at a club game in macon, against opponents I typically get about a trick or two more than the field.

Last night, I picked up: Qxxx, Kxxx, KJx, Jx. Both vul., partner opens 15-17 1NT in 3rd seat, I stayman, he shows no 4 card major, I invite with 2NT. All pass. +180 when partner proceeds to make 2 more tricks than the field, mostly in 3NT down 1. 9 out of 12 MP.

A couple of rounds later, I picked up: Qxxx, xxx, Jxx, Jxx. Partner opens 2C, I bid 2D showing no controls, and partner rebids 2NT, 22-24hcp. I took another pessimistic view of this hand and passed 2NT. Another +180 after he gets an extra trick or two for a dead average. 4S is makeable.



Anybody have a good auction for getting to 7C, with south to deal? The majority of the field last night was in 6NT down 1 when west had Jxxx of spades and KQ of diamonds. My opponents decided to bid 6S, which cannot be beaten, giving us 1 out of 12 matchpoints.

My auction would start off: 1S-2H; 3C-4C. I think 4C should be keycard for clubs if you’re playing minorwood but it’s unclear. You may just want to set trumps and get a cuebid from partner. If it’s minorwood, opener bids 4S, now is 4NT to play or an ask about kings? If it’s not minorwood, then opener cues 4H, then is 4S by responder an option to play 4S, realizing that we have no diamond control and 4S is the best game.

If the auction goes: 1S-2H; 3C-3D; 3NT-4C, is 4C Gerber, natural and forcing (3D would have been sort of like an advance cuebid in support of clubs), minorwood, or passable?

My vote is that 4C in the first case should be minorwood and after a 4S response, 4NT is continuation rather than a signoff in a better matchpoint contract, 4S in the next case is a cuebid. Bidding 4th suit and then 4C must be a slam try in clubs with a control in diamonds, not minorwood.

1 comment:

  1. If I were North, Megan and I would have the Stone Age auction 1S-2H, 3C-4NT, 5H-5NT, 6S-7C. (Keycard, and specific kings--specific kings are nice here because the KS is a lot more essential than the KD. If South has the KD and not the KS, we can bid 6NT confidently.)

    I don't see any reason to noodle around--North can take charge early on.