Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Judgement is everything

Visiting New York City on work, I asked B. if he would play with me again at the Manhattan Bridge Club. To my surprise, considering our  poor (by his standards) 53% game last time around, he agreed.  As he put it jokingly after our game, I with my 200 master points, am "good value".

We were East-West and having a pretty good game.  Finally, we came to the table where the strongest pair in the room (two experts whose names ocassionally grace newspaper bridge columns) were sitting North-South.  Get two good boards off these guys and we would have a good game indeed.

First board. South deals and after two passes, North opens 1D in 3rd seat. What would do you bid holding:
E
Me
AK10x
J10xx
A109xx

I can not double, of course, with a spade void.  Bidding clubs has two drawbacks: (1) I don't want partner to bid spades. Correcting to hearts will take us to the 3-level where I do not want to be (2) My clubs are rather anemic. So, I bid 1H. Yes, my 4-card suit.  Least of all evils. I would even welcome a heart lead if South ends up bidding spades and they play in the suit.

The bidding now went:
W
West
N
North
E
Me
S
South
Pass
Pass
1
1
Dbl
4
Pass
Pass
Dbl
Pass
41
All Pass
(1) Can you blame him?

4S stood no chance because the full deal was:
.
Board: 15
Vul: N-S
Dlr: South
N
North
KQJx
AQxxx
xxxx
.
W
West
9xxxx
Q9862
K
J7
Lead: 4
E
East
AK10x
J10xx
A109xx
.
S
South
A10xx
Jxxx
xxx
KQ
.
With careful play, 4H can make. I do not think I would have made it, but 4H doubled and down 1 would still have been a good board because the field was in 2S making (the auction having gone 1D-2C-X-2S-allpass).  +200 for us was a pretty good board.

The next board also required good judgement.   Partner deals and passes. Then, North bids 1H. What do you bid with this hand?
E
East
K9xx
Axx
KJxx
xx

On the one hand, you have 4 spades, 11 points and partner can bid spades on the one-level. On the other hand, you are a rather poor shape and are at the low end of the range for a takeout double. I hope you passed. I, unfortunately, didn't. I doubled for takeout and disaster proceeded to ensue. The bidding now went:
W
West
N
North
E
East
S
South
Pass
1
Dbl1
4
52
Pass
Pass
Dbl
All Pass
(1) ill-advised
(2) oops

5C didn't have a chance and we went down 2 doubled.  -500 was terrible because even 4H doesn't make:
.
Board: 16
Vul: E-W
Dlr: West
N
North
QJx
Q10xxx
Qx
AKx
.
W
West
Axxx
x
x
QJ109872
Lead: 4
E
East
K9xx
Axx
KJxx
xx
.
S
South
10x
KJxx
A10xxxx
x
.
So much for getting two good boards off these guys.

We ended up with a 58% game.  It was good enough to win our direction, but only for second overall, losing to the pair we played at this table.  I wish I could take that ill-advised take-out double back!


1 comment:

  1. I like the 1H bid. It's amazing how often it works out.

    ReplyDelete