Wednesday, August 28, 2013

On different wavelengths

After about 2 months of summer travel where the only bridge I played was in the daily bridgez tournament, I am back in Norman now and showed up for a "live" game with another intermediate,  up-and-coming player.

We were both quite rusty. The last time he'd played bridge was a month ago, and his partner then had asked him to play a homemade Fantunes-like system. In bridgez, I had been playing Francophilic 2/1 and so, our Precision system was quite rusty to both of us.

We had a lot of mishaps, both in bidding and on defense.

Hand 1: West opens 1D, which is assumed to be artificial and the bidding now goes:
(1) 2+ diamonds, 10-15 points
(2) 4+ spades, 8+ points
(3) 13-15 points, balanced
(4) Forcing or not?

Is 3C forcing or not? I guess it depends on what 2C is.  Partner thought 2C would be "new minor forcing" and therefore, 3C was a weak hand with lots of clubs and a 4-card spade suit that I wanted to show on the way.  I thought 2C was a retreat from NT and non-forcing because the 1D was artificial, so 3C (responder jump) had to be forcing.  Long story short, I declared in clubs a hand that ought to be in 3NT.  We got a dead bottom on the board.

Hand 2:  Because we open pretty much all 10-point hands, and a 2/1 response only shows 12+ points, we have agreed that it is okay to pass a simple rebid, preference, raise or 2NT.  Thus, 1H-2C-2H, 1H-2C-2D-2H, 1H-2C-3C or 1H-2C-2NT show 13 points or lower and may all be passed.  Either party with 14+ points does something other than these.  So, is the 2NT in this sequence passable?
(1) 2+ diamonds, 10-15
(2) 12+ points, 5+ clubs
(3) 5+ diamonds, 10-13 points
(4) Can this be passed?
I thought 2NT was one of our passable bids after 2/1.  Partner thought that because he'd told his story and I kept on bidding that it was game force.  We landed in 3NT. I went down 1 by squeezing RHO in clubs and spades on the run of dummy's diamonds.  Everyone else went down in 2NT, so making 2NT would have been a top.  Instead we got an average minus.

Hand 3:  This was a defensive error where I thought the bridge logic was obvious, but I could have made things clearer had I just did the system thing.  We are playing upside-down attitude on opening lead, and playing standard attitude leads (so that leading a low card implies that I would welcome the suit to be led back).  They were in 3NT and partner led the 9 of spades.  Dummy hit with:
and I held 5 spades to the ten. My hand held 4 points: the King of hearts and the Jack of clubs.  Which spade would you play?

Well, I have no good spades, but at the same time, I don't want partner switching to any other suit either. So, I "encouraged" with the 3 of spades. Declarer won with her queen -- she must have AKQ of spades -- and immediately finessed the 10 of clubs. I won with the Jack of clubs and thought about the hand a bit.  It was obvious that partner held the AQ of clubs and after declarer gave up the Ace of clubs, the rest of the tricks would be hers.  If we had a heart trick, I needed to set it up now. So, I led back a low heart (attitude leads).  Partner won with the Ace of hearts and led back a ... spade!  All because I'd encouraged on trick 1.  Had I gone with "the system", I'd have denied spade honors playing a high spade and partner would have happily continued hearts. Another way I could have helped partner out was by leading the King of hearts. After all, I've deduced that he has either the Queen or the Ace, and my King is in a finesse-able position, so it can not hurt. An average minus board. Had we gotten our three tricks, we'd have had a top.

All the bad boards piled up at the beginning of the session, but by the second half, we had found our groove a little. We ended up with 55%, which was good enough for third place.  Have to shake the rust off.

1 comment:

  1. Seems to me that your leading back a small heart meant that you would welcome the return of a heart. Had you wanted your partner to switch back to spades, you would have returned a higher heart.

    The first trick signaling issue is a matter of partnership agreement. I prefer that the first trick attitude is directed more toward the "obvious shift suit" (probably hearts here, although the auction is not shown) than toward the suit led ... but many of my partners think this approach is silly. Under my preference, if your four HCP were the KJ of diamonds you would not discourage spades, because you do not want partner to switch later to hearts; it is difficult to induce partner to switch to diamonds, and perhaps you have to hope that declarer plays diamonds himself.