Monday, July 30, 2012

Not the fix I was looking for

Traveling within India and away from the weekly club game, I badly needed my bridge fix.  So, I decided to play a robot tourney on BBO.

8 boards.  53%. Ouch:

Now, I know robot tourneys are for the birds and one should not read too much into them, but see if you would have fared better on the disaster boards.

Here is board #3:

Should I have bid on after partner's preemptive raise?  I decided partner would probably cover only one diamond loser, not two and passed. The brave souls who plowed on to 5C got 95%, which is reasonable -- high risk, high reward.  But what rankles is that majority of the field opened the South hand 1NT and made 3 or 4 when west did not lead spades!  Would you downgrade that South hand (3 aces!) to 17 points?

Here is board #6:

The field here bid 4S and West competed to 5H and went down several, usually doubled.  Me, I figured game was unlikely to make (those pesky clubs!) and passed. 3S went down one which seems reasonable -- they make 3H on the normal lead of a diamond (discard spade king on club).  But when everyone is overbidding, the par score is worth only 20%.

And finally, here is board #7.  How do you open the South hand?

I thought the 3C was forcing to game, but obviously partner did not agree.  The folks who opened the South hand an off-shape 2NT got to 4H while those who opened it 2C got to 3NT.

Not exactly the kind of fix I was looking for!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

How to handle light openings and even lighter responses

This is obviously not one of *my* mishaps, but this hand from the 2012 Spingold is a mishap for the ages:

East obviously needed to pass.

But more importantly, doubles that show points are very useful when your opponents open light and do fake bidding with weak hands. Note also that it was West's support double that lined up the lucrative penalty for N-S.

I am starting to think that it is worth giving up support doubles in favor of point-showing doubles.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Decisions, decisions!

Vulnerable, righty opens 2S (weak) and I hold:
Do I come in? Even though they're vul and I'm not, I passed.  Right decision?

East passes and partner who holds a 11 point balanced hand with four spades also passes. So, now, I had to lead.  What would do you choose?

I chose a spade, partner encouraging. Click "Next" on the diagram below to see the defense; can you spot the misdefense?

It was at this point:
I led a club at this point, but the only winning return is a heart.  It is clear that I should not lead diamonds because partner needs the king of diamonds as a safe escape card.  But why hearts over clubs (partner has not had a chance to signal suit preference)?  The club holding that I'm hoping for from partner is AJ.  If I lead hearts, I'm hoping for A10 with him. Which is likelier?  How does one tell?