Bob Munson

Recap Of 10/4/2017 28 Board IMP Individual

Wow – has it really been nearly 3 months since we had a game?  Vacations and other conflicts made it a long time since July’s game, but a strong group joined us on October 4th with bidding decisions proving to be the source of all 5 of the big swings for the day.

 
1
None
North
N
JoAnna
Q76
10985
AQ2
A42
 
W
Bruce
AJ10
AKQ73
J74
Q9
5
E
Bob
3
642
K1063
K10753
 
S
Mark R
K98542
J
985
J86
 
W
Bruce
N
JoAnna
E
Bob
S
Mark R
1
Pass
1
2
Dbl1
3
All Pass
(1) 3 card spade support
W
Manfred
N
Mark M
E
Lew
S
Ed
1
Pass
1
2
Dbl1
3
3
4
Pass
Pass
42
Dbl
All Pass
 
 
(1) 3 card spade support
(2) Taking the ‘save’

First board out of the box and already a double digit swing.  The first 6 bids were the same at both tables, but then the bidding diverged substantially.  At my table, South didn’t rebid their spades. Bruce hesitated awhile prior to passing my raise to 3.  Bruce has substantial extras, but his balanced shape leaves lots of losers that have to be dealt with.

At the other table, South used the law of total tricks (6+3 = 9) to bid to the 9 trick level – 3.  He was too high already, but Manfred took the push to the heart game.  Now, in balancing seat, South decided to take a white vs. white save and bid 4.  For the save to be really successful, game had to be bid at the other table (it wasn’t) and made at the other table (it wasn’t) and the loss in going down in 4X had to be less than the value of the game (it really wasn’t).  Only the last two points are required for a partial success (if 4 was going to make at this table and if 4 would only suffer a loss of 300, then 2 IMPs could be saved, lose 4 instead of lose 6).

So, what can make, double dummy?  It turns out 4 is cold on any lead, and 4 always makes book (-4).  The excellent 5 lead created problems for declarer from the start – now he cannot ruff his 2 spade losers, so he has to establish minor suit winners to provide spade discard(s).  With the 4-1 trump split (that he does not yet know about), he has to lose a trump and 2 aces, winning the rest.

With both minor suits 3-3 and with the opening bidder (LHO) holding both aces and the Q, it turns out the minor suits provide lots of tricks.  But, unable to see into the opponents hands, declarer won the trump lead and played for the opening 1 bidder to hold the J, so he floated the 9, losing to the J.  Now declarer is in trouble of losing 1+1+1+2 and going down in 3.  But the friendly lie in diamonds came to the rescue and 9 tricks were scored for +140.

Double dummy, after the heart opening lead, declarer must time his plays very carefully to arrive at 10 tricks and, as noted above, once the 9 lost to the J, declarer now had to be really careful to achieve 9 tricks.

Meanwhile, our teammates were playing 4♠X.  Against the best lead (any diamond), 6 tricks are all that can be salvaged by declarer.  The same N-S 3-3 split in both minors that provided so many offensive tricks for E-W in hearts at the other table provides lots of losers in 4.  When the dust settled, declarer had book, 6 tricks, down 4 for -800.  Paired with our +140, lose 12 IMPs.

 
10
Both
East
N
Mark M
52
QJ653
2
AQJ75
 
W
Bruce
AKJ63
A92
Q964
K
Q
E
Ed
Q1094
A75
1098642
 
S
Bob
87
K10874
KJ1083
3
 
W
Bruce
N
Mark M
E
Ed
S
Bob
Pass
Pass
1
21
32
43
4
All Pass4
(1) Michaels showing 5 hearts with a side 5 card minor
(2) Cue bid of hearts to show limit+ spade raise
(3) ? – perhaps I should have tried 5H taking an advance save and possibly goading them into a 5S contract?
(4) I still could take a save and bid 5H over 4S, but partner’s strength is ambiguous and phantom saves are costly, so I passed, hoping 4S would fail.
W
Lew
N
Mark R
E
JoAnna
S
Manfred
Pass
Pass
11
1
Dbl2
43
Pass4
Pass
Dbl5
Pass
46
Pass
57
Pass
58
All Pass
 
 
(1) Strong and artificial, 16+
(2) Showing 6-7 HCP
(3) Raise to game and jam the auction
(4) Forcing pass, where normally partner will reopen with a double allowing a chance to show my hand next round
(5) As expected, double
(6) Showing their suit for the first time
(7) Fearing that the heart void offers too great of a prospect for slam
(8) Minimum for the 1C opener, signing off in 5S, but already 1 too high

Preempts can often create problems for strong club auctions (since the partnership doesn’t even know what suit they are competing in until later in the auction), and that proved to be the case here.  East doesn’t have to bid again over 4, but the heart void, the ace, and strong trump support led to the 5 cue bid and E-W had gotten too high.

There are various ways in which the offense and defense might go.  The cross ruff cannot proceed until the lead is lost in clubs as well as diamonds.  So, even if the opening lead is not a trump, the defense can still foil declarer’s plans.  If declarer plays clubs first, it provides an opportunity for a trump return.  But even if the defense doesn’t play trumps then, ducking the K allows North to ruff the Q and lead a trump.  Declarer has 4 red losers that all must be ruffed in dummy (and dummy only has 4 trumps!), so as long as the defense plays a trump at some point without establishing the Q, limiting dummy to 3 ruffs will hold declarer to 10 tricks, but no path to 11 tricks.

That is, with 2 trump leads, declarer is held to 7+1+2+0.  Or, if the defense ruffs out the Q and leads a trump, declarer will get 8+1+1+0, but no route to 11 tricks.  The timing/transportation just doesn’t work to get all of the needed ruffs in dummy.

So, with 10 tricks at both tables, my side was -620 and -100, lose 12 IMPs.

 
12
N-S
West
N
Mark M
A10
8643
J63
KQJ6
 
W
Bruce
K9643
95
Q954
109
10
E
Ed
8752
Q1072
8
7532
 
S
Bob
QJ
AKJ
AK1072
A84
 
W
Bruce
N
Mark M
E
Ed
S
Bob
Pass
Pass
Pass
2
Pass
2
Pass
2NT
Pass
6NT
All Pass
 
W
Lew
N
Mark R.
E
JoAnna
S
Manfred
Pass
Pass
11
Dbl
Pass
22
Pass
2NT3
Pass
3NT
All Pass
 
(1) !!
(2) Seems like a jump is in order here?
(3) Possibly 3NT?

Wow!  Being white vs. vulnerable opponents in third seat (looking at two passes) has always been an attractive time to throw in a light opener or a psychic bid (playing a strong club makes the psych slightly safer?), and here, when JoAnna opened the bidding with 1, N-S found the NT slam impossible to reach.  At my table, the strong 2 auction allowed me to show 22-24 balanced and, with 11 HCP, partner simply did the math and bid the slam.

I’m not sure why North didn’t jump (showing 9-11) in response to the double?  Usually a simple bid shows 0-8.  South’s monster might consider jumping to 3NT over 2, since the 2NT bid showed a hand more like 19-21 HCP.  Still, there was no source of tricks (and no spade stopper), RHO had ‘opened’ the bidding, and partner showed no life, so following up the double with a 3NT bid would normally have a more promising source of 9 tricks.

But, once the heart opening bid is believed, reaching slam is, in my opinion, very very difficult.  Both North and South have to take very aggressive actions with their hands and neither did.

What about the play?  It seems automatic to win the club lead in hand, cash one high diamond (looking for LHO to have a singleton Q, 9 or 8), cross to dummy in clubs and float the J.  When that loses, you need the rest, with only 11 top tricks.  There are 4 lines of play to get your 12th trick

  1. Heart/spade squeeze vs. East (but then a simple heart finesse would also work)
  2. Heart/spade squeeze vs. West (but then a simple spade finesse would also work)
  3. Take the spade finesse
  4. Take the heart finesse

After LHO won the Q, they paused awhile.  They had no clubs to lead.  A heart lead would solve my problems.  A spade lead would possibly make me guess now, but if my spades were Qx, they didn’t want to give away their K.  Eventually they led a diamond to let me break the majors.  I decided he must hold the K, so I took that finesse successfully and arrived at 12 tricks.  

The heart lead at trick one at the other table provided 12 tricks off the top.  So, we were +1440 vs. -690, win 13 IMPs.

 

 
22
E-W
East
N
Bob
Q953
Q862
A9852
 
W
Manfred
J10
K9863
A953
74
8
E
Ed
AK
AQJ1074
J1074
Q
 
S
JoAnna
87642
52
K
KJ1063
 
W
Manfred
N
Bob
E
Ed
S
JoAnna
1
21
32
4
5
Pass
Pass
53
Dbl4
Pass
65
(1) Michaels showing 5 spades and 5 card minor
(2) With a huge fit, leaving a little bit in reserve
(3) My offense seemed far more promising than my defense, so time to take a save
(4) Not wanting to go higher
(5) Decided to bid the slam – Not sure if he thought he had too little defense, or too great an offensive hand to settle for the penalty available in 5S, hoping that slam would come home?
W
Mark R
N
Mark M
E
Bruce
S
Lew
1
11
22
43
5
Pass
Pass
Pass4
(1) Deciding to make simple overcall rather than Michaels
(2) Upgrading to a limit+ cue bid
(3) Jam the auction
(4) Not knowing partner was 5-5, perhaps the heart void would give declarer problems in the play for 11 tricks so decided to not bid 5 over 5

I have a rather modest hand, and partner surely didn’t have any extra for her Michaels bid.  Nevertheless, it turns out 10 tricks are easy for N-S in a spade contract, so the save in 5 was only destined for a 1 trick set.  At my table, because of the Michaels bid, I had the extra knowledge that one of my minor suits was going to fit with partner’s (unknown) side minor to provide a source of tricks on offense (and possibly limit our tricks on defense).  So, maybe we could defeat 5, but it seemed sufficiently unlikely that we would be able to beat it such that taking out insurance by saving in 5 was nearly automatic.  North, at the other table, was facing a 1 overcall by partner and not a Michaels bid, so they opted to hope that pushing the opponents to the 5 level had worked.  So they decided to defend and hope  to defeat 5.

With the singleton K, there was little to the play.  Declarer simply loses 1 club and 1 diamond, 11 tricks total.  That meant my side was +100 and +650, win 13 IMPs.

 
27
None
South
N
Bruce
QJ6
A108
KJ2
A975
 
W
Bob
K4
73
Q8763
8632
K
E
Manfred
10982
652
A
KQJ104
 
S
Lew
A753
KQJ94
10954
 
Lew
Bruce
1
2
2
2
4
Mark R.
Mark M.
1
3NT
All pass
 

Since we play an  individual movement, sometimes you are playing 4 hands with a partner that you have never played with before.  I have seen partnership agreements that specifically call out that 1M-3NT shows a 4-3-3-3 hand.  I’ve also seen agreements that 1M-3NT will show 3-2-4-4 (exactly).  So, for readers that play in this game, a lesson from this hand is that it might be unwise to throw out a potentially conventional and misleading bid, hoping partner can field it.  Here, there was some discussion (table talk) at the time of the 3NT bid and it was determined North’s bid was around 15 HCP balanced.  South assumed that North held a 3-2-4-4 shape and passed (3NT ends all auctions?).  I think North thought they were showing 4-3-3-3.

Unless you are playing a strong club, the South hand, had it been more balanced, did not really measure up to an opening bid.  That is, they opened the bidding because of the 4=5=4=0 shape.  So, using the shape as the strength/reason for the opening bid, perhaps that same reason should be applied to their rebid and make some call over 3NT.  Voids can present problems in 3NT and that was the case here.

At my table, North simply responded with a game forcing 2 bid and soon they were in the cold heart game.  Declarer can score 3+5+2+1 for 11 tricks in the heart contract on any lead.  I tried the unbid suit and started with the K, hoping we could score the first 3 tricks and then find another trick somewhere, but there are always 11 tricks to be had on any lead.  Actually, after the K start, declarer can find 12 tricks, but 11 tricks were scored and we were -450 for what seemed to be a flat board.

The count of 11 tricks being available in the heart contract was not true about the 3NT contract reached by our teammates.  With the obvious K lead, declarer, hoping clubs might be blocked in some way, won the A at trick 1, crossed to dummy in hearts and tried the diamond finesse.  The finesse worked, but declarer was down 1 after East won the A and cashed 4 club tricks.

So, I was -450 and our teammates -50, lose 11 IMPs.

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