Monday, February 14, 2011

Savannah Sectional

A couple of years ago I kind of decided that I would quit going to small sectionals that are not local. For awhile, when Hillery was a huge part of my life, I didn’t go to such tournaments, but in the last 2 years, I’ve been to so many small sectionals. The Savannah sectional I went to last weekend is a good example of why one should skip such tournaments. Yes, small sectionals generally have the advantage of having good snacks available throughout the tournament but the quality of the competition is often about the same as a good club game and the quality of the playing site is often unpleasant.

I guess a big part of why the playing area at the Savannah sectional was so uncomfortable was because the crowd was way bigger than they expected. Last year the tournament had 231 tables in play and this year it had 297 tables, and the ballroom was very cramped with low ceilings so it was just a really stuffy atmosphere. This coming weekend is a sectional in Anderson, SC, which I am skipping even though it has been one of the small sectionals I have been to several years in a row and I know they do have a nice playing site – in a gymnasium. It’s amazing how much difference it makes having a 50 foot ceiling instead of a 9 foot ceiling with 200 people in the room.

Anyway, Bob and I scratched in both sessions Saturday and probably just missed the overalls Sunday with 70 VPs on a 60 average. In the pivotal last round, one of our teammates didn’t lead a singleton against 6S, the only lead to set it, and that was a swing of 26 imps and 11VPs because we stopped in 4S at my table.

There’s one bidding sequence that came up a couple of times which was kind of confusing. After an uncontested auction starts 1NT-2H-2S-3C, I had always thought 3S here was 3+ card spade support, 4S was 3 card spade support but an otherwise crummy 15, and any other bid denied 3 card spade support. So 3D or 3H here would be stopper-showing or possibly a cue bid toward a club slam. Both times this auction came up, I had good club support but only a doubleton spade and we somehow wound up playing 4S both times. In matchpoints, I guess it’s not so abnormal to eventually decide to play the 5-2 major instead of the 5-4 minor but these auctions were both in the team game – no hand records and I didn’t bother keeping good notes during the Swiss team game. Would responder ever transfer to spades and then bid clubs with 6-4 or would you always just insist on spades with that sort of hand?

A couple of times I saw opponents Jacoby transfer and then jump to 4M and then put down a 10-count 6-3-2-2. Don’t beginning (or at least intermediate) bridge books/teachers teach that you use Texas transfers for minimum game forces with a 6 card major (or hands that are planning to key card blackwood in the major) and that you use Jacoby and a jump to 4 to show mild slam interest and a 6 card suit?

1 comment:

  1. I think a 6 card suit with interest in slam should either transfer then bid 4 (the mild slam interest as you said) or texas transfer and then either bid black wood or cuebid (if they are strong enough for slam but are worried about one suit, although that could give too much info. to the opponents).
    I play transfer and then bidding a minor as 5 cards in the major and 4+ cards in the minor with slam interest. Opener's rebids: 3 of major - 3 card support and slam interest; 4 of major - 3 card support, no slam interest; 3NT - to play, no slam interest; bids of other suit at 3 or 4 level - cue-bid, supports minor, slam interst; 4 NT - quantitative (17 HCP, w/ no support for either suit); 5 of minor - to play; 4 of minor - undiscussed, but this must be a hand w/ interest in slam in the minor but can't cue-bid another suit, so something like AK, xxx, xxx, AKQxx, when responder transferred to spades and then bid three clubs with a hand like QJTxx, Ax, AK, JTxx