Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bidding 4 and making 7

We played in the Lawton, OK sectional today, and I am still basking in my second-ever flight-A win. Our first flight-A win was the knockout a few months ago, and it was with the same teammates that we won today's Open Swiss.

Partner and I average 150 master points, so this is all rather cool and novel, but we're under no illusions that the best players won. As you'd expect, we were lucky -- of the strongest two teams in the tournament, we had to play only one, and we escaped with a tie.  Both teams had one loss each (where they got fixed) and we got away with playing the unexpected victors of those matches.

Still, I'll take my 6 silver points!

As in the knockout, I found that we bid and made our games for the most part. We took our tricks on defense (defeating a couple of their game contracts) and competed well on part-scores. It's the slam hands that continue to mess us up.  Here's one where I could not find the right bid:
Partner dealt and opened his hand 1D:
Now what?

A minimum hand consistent with partner's bidding -- Axx xx KQxxxx Kx -- makes the slam cold, so I do need to explore slam here. But what is my bid?  3H is not forcing, and partner might pass with a singleton or void.  3C would be, but that would ask partner if he had a third heart or a spade stopper. Here, partner might bid either 3D or 3NT. 3NT doesn't tell me much, though since it could be nothing more than QJx or Kxx of spades.I gave up and simply bid 4H.  

Bidding 4 and making 7 is never a nice feeling.

At the other table, they bid a small slam. Their auction went:
(1) one ace

Blackwood holding 3 little spades seems a tad frisky, but it certainly did work for them.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Lak.

    Assuming you are playing weak jump shifts, the hand shown is surely difficult to bid. With 12 HCP missing in the minors, I do not care for the 4NT call at the other table. After 3C at responder's second turn, opener would probably repeat his diamonds a third time, allowing responder to bid 3H next, which must be forcing given that responder did not jump to 3H at his second turn. The continuation I foresee at that point is 4H, then 5H. If opener is on the same wavelength, he would not only accept the slam try focusing on avoidance of two fast spade losers, but cue bid 5S along the way. At least a small slam is on the horizon now, and if responder believes that opener has enough side suit entries to set up the diamonds, a grand is not unthinkable. Easier, of course, when looking at all 26 cards.

    Btw, I think Hx is sufficient to bid 3H over 3C in theory, although I prefer 3D on this particular hand of opener. Many minimum openers with three hearts, if not rebidding notrump or a new suit, would have raised 1H to 2H.