Monday, February 28, 2011

Decisions on Whether to Bid More Hearts

Last weekend was the Atlanta Almost Spring Super Sectional in which I played only the Saturday afternoon flight A pairs and the A/X Swiss on Sunday and was 7th in both events. Saturday, or rather, trying to schedule what I would do Saturday, was one of the most stressful things I have done in awhile. I had several goals in mind: eat at Chipotle, play my tennis league match in Warner Robins in the morning, drive 2 hours to the tournament in Roswell, play one session with David, play 1 session with Mili, eat at Chipotle, make sure John has a partner (preferably another junior) for all the games, leave adequate time for David to go out with his old friend, eat at Chipotle, hang out with Mike and Alli. Coordinating things with several people can be difficult, especially when some of them don't have cars and need to ask parents for permission. I failed to accomplish at least 2 of those goals but it's all good - Saturday night kibitzing Patty and Kevin against Tom Carmichael and Mike Cappelletti, then drinking, karaoke-ing, and bowling with Mike, Alli, Owen, and the Teels was great.

Sunday's Swiss produced several interesting deals and intersting auctions. On the second hand of the day, I opened 1 on ♠KT, QJTxxxx, -, ♣AQTx, LHO overcalled a natural 1NT and partner raised to 2. Would you bid over 2? Vulnerable? At imps? I could just envision my partner putting down something useless like ♠Jxx, xxx, KQxxx, ♣xx and being doubled and down 2 or 3, so I passed. However partner had the most awesome 6 count to go with my hand: ♠Jxx, ATx, xxxx, ♣Jxx, so we were +170 while our teammates were -790.

In the second round at unfavorable vulnerability, I picked up ♠Axx, QJ9xxx, Qx, ♣QJ. LHO opened 3♠, passed to me. I wanted to bid 4, and a few years ago, I would have automatically bid 4 but I'm more conservative now or at least I was yesterday. Unfortunately passing was another losing call, but my counterpart had an easier time bidding that hand because Joe doesn't preempt with seven spades headed by the T and AK on the side and I agree that it's not a hand you should preempt. If you switched the majors and switched the opening bid to 4, would you be more inclined to bid 4♠? Logically, overcalling 4 and 4♠ should be equivalent hands but I think many more people would bid 4♠ over 4 than 4 over 3♠ even if it's only because of the saying that when you open 4 it is a transfer to 4♠ for the opposition. Fortunately it got better after that.

My opponent in the last round had another decision of whether to bid hearts of not. At favorable vulnerability, she held: ♠AJ9x, KJxxx, xxx, ♣x. After passing, her LHO (my partner) opened 3, passed back to her. Would you balance here? If so, do you bid 3 or X? I definitely think this is not one where you should balance because it doesn't seem like we will be making much of anything. Partner is surely short in diamonds but didn't act over 3 so we probably don't have game and X clearly has a huge flaw in that p may bid 4♣ and 3 could get us to a very bad spot as well. But, with the other 2 hands fresh in my mind, I may well have doubled as well. That did get 4♣ from her partner, which was doubled. And I also had an easy double when she ran back to 4. +800 against air was a good way to start the last round.


  1. I wish aLL bridge were as fun as that last round was. But sometimes you play against players who are your superiors. That makes for a different kind of "fun", n'est-ce pas?

  2. Hand 1 : Think thats a uber conservative pass with a 4 loser hand. Atleast an invitational bid of some sort is called for. With the values to your left, the AQ and the K looks ratty, but there might be some throw in possibilities.

    Hand 2 : I think the 4h is not clear cut. Those values in the minors look pretty worthless. Guess thats how pre-empts should work :)