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!


  1. The final hand is known as the Bridge World Death Hand, frequently used in bidding challenges as there is no good answer.

    Three clubs is certainly non-forcing so you have to bid two spades and hope that you get the chance to raise hearts.

  2. Thanks, Paul. Reverses are one-round forcing, and since the jump rebid here shows better values, I thought it would be forcing also. What am I missing?

  3. In Standard American the 'jump rebid' shows a good 6+ card suit with 16-18 HCP. I have done it with fewer HCP, but say AKQxxxx or more in the minor hoping partner can bid and steal a cheap 3N.

    I do not like opening 2N with the singleton, but it is the best of a lot of bad alternatives.

  4. Everyone has been in situations in which you have to fake a reverse or a jump shift when you don't have a "real" second suit and just need to force partner (the reverse is of course, forcing for one round whereas a jump shift is forcing to game). Partner should know that your second suit may not be real and bid accordingly.

    There is a trade-off with how often you are willing to skew your NT openings / rebids and how often you are willing to fake reverses or jump shifts.

    There are hypothetical hands in which you have no choice but to reverse or jump shift into a two card suit! For example: You hold a 2722 hand with 19-20 HCP, you bid 1H and partner responds 1S. How do you force partner now? 3H is non-forcing. 4H is weakish with very long hearts. So fake a 3C bid. Partner will understand :)

  5. Board No. 3 is a horrible game. The heart finesse works AND clubs split 2-2.