Bob Munson

Recap of 1/28/2013 21 board game – IMP individual

I am creating a series of posts analyzing the hands played in a local (San Francisco area) 2-table individual IMP game.  The posts are likely only of interest to the participants and/or the regulars who were unable to play that day.  However, I certainly welcome comments from anyone who has insight regarding bridge lessons to be learned from the hands presented.    Sometimes we play on BBO (14-21 hands) and sometimes we play in homes or a local bridge club (28 hands).  Everyone knows everyone and many partnerships during the course of the individual game are regular partners in local and/or national tournaments.  There is no money, no points, just playing for the enjoyment of the game.

For all hands, I include the bridge movie from one table with some comments about the other table.  I thought it would clutter the post too much to have both movies presented.  With some effort, you could actually find the hands on BBO and see both movies of both tables if that is of interest.

Monday of this week we played 21 boards on BBO.  Out of 21 boards there were 8 double digit swings (I’m counting the one 9 IMP swing as double digit, both because it should have been and because it felt that way).  Amazing.  I’m hoping I haven’t offended any of the players.  It is certainly not my intention.  Most of these 8 swings seemed to be based on failed judgment rather than some unexpected brilliance.  Slogging through the list of 8 swing boards…

Bidding – Manfred decided against a NMF checkback and simply bid 3NT.  3NT is unassailable.  On the run of the spades, partner pitched a heart and surrendered an uptrick.  At the other table, the NMF sequence after 2NT found the 5-3 spade fit and landed them in 4S, also unassailable.  However, it requires a guess as to where the Q is.  When the 10 was led and covered with the J (in the middle of the hand), the contract could no longer be made because making it was dependent upon achieving an end play to the Q late in the hand.  Lose 11 IMPs

The next big swing came on the next hand

Mike decided to try a passed hand double in a 2/1 game forcing auction.  I bounced to 3  which should ‘only’ go for -500 and I guess Manfred remained fearful of spades and decided to pass.  Mark was fearful of hearts.  The next thing you knew, 5♣ was down 2, win 13 IMPs due to teammates arriving in an uncontested 3NT at the other table.  I don’t think the double would have occurred to me, but as the auction unfolded, it worked rather well.

Next came board 4.

3NT cannot be beaten (3+2+2+2), but our teammate at the other table apparently lost track of the spade spots and failed to bring in 9 tricks.  Lose 12 IMPs.

Next up board 7

Interesting auction.  Same start at both tables.  Bruce simply RKCB’d over the 2♠  raise and arrived in the ill-fated 6♠, suffering from the 5-1 trump split.  Jack tried 3♣  and when I raised to 4♣ we were soon in 6♣ .  The play might have been slightly easier, once the club position is identified, to ruff a heart high and then finesse the ♣10.  But a diamond ruff in dummy still scored the 12th trick.  Win 16 IMPs due to the spade slam failing.  6♣ is better, but not 16 IMPs better.  Spades will score 2 extra IMPs on most layouts of the cards, but not this one.

Then came board 9.

This hand was covered in my earlier post (  The heart spots certainly look like 4th best, so it appears the best play for the 3NT when played at the other table is to cover the J hoping RHO held AKJ or AJ9.  Not likely, but possible.  Win 11 IMPs.

Then board 10.

I don’t particularly like my responsive double – normally I would expect only 3 spades shown by my bid.  But I didn’t really want to choose between 3♠ or 4♠ so compromised with a double and partner happily passed.  We took our tricks.  +500.  At the other table, 3NT failed by 3 tricks (after a Stayman mixup), win 13 IMPs.   4♠ fails trivially by starting with diamonds and getting a diamond ruff when in with the ♠A.  But, even if West is on lead, a diamond is unlikely and certainly East would not lead one.  Without the diamond lead and ruff 10 tricks are easy (4+2+1+3)

Board 17 was next.

At my table, Manfred simply bid 4♠ over my 3.  But, as you can see, at this table Mike decided to cue bid diamonds.  Bruce thought the T/O doubler was looking for another suit and he had one to offer:  5♣.  Mike took that as a cue bid and bid the hopeless slam.  Lose 11 IMPs.

Board 20

 At my table, West opened 2 and played it when we are cold for 7♣!!?!  Should I respond to 2 or should the hand open 1?  Beats me, but we obviously failed to play in clubs.  The other table, shown here, played clubs making only 5.

Recapping the swings of the day

11 IMPs Board 1 – failure to bid 3NT or failure to make 4♠ 

13 IMPs Board 2 – Failure to bid 3NT

12 IMPs Board 4 – Failure to make 3NT

16 IMPs Board 7 – Failure to reach 6♣ or bad luck on the spade split

11 IMPs Board 9 – Failure to bid 4♠ or make 3NT

13 IMPs Board 10 – Failure to bid 4 

11 IMPs Board 17 – Bid too high off 2 cashing clubs

9 IMPs Board 20 – Either the curve ball caused by opening 2 or failure to respond to 2 




Michel SchneiderFebruary 1st, 2013 at 12:58 am

On Board 17, surely one meaning for the 4D cue bid must be a strong raise of spades. What about other meanings? Other unambiguous strong bids are available: X (still takeout, but extra strength denying primary support for spades) and 4C (double and bid, but in the modern style not denying 3 card support for spades) I have no idea what 3H or 4H might be — some might argue natural, since the 2H bidder is not required to be honest in this auction. Perhaps South might have bid 5S confirming his intentions, but how will North who may have bid 5C being on the same page as South know what to do then?

Jennifer JonesFebruary 3rd, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Welcome Bob! I, for one, will enjoy reading the hands from your individual game as I know most, if not all, of the participants.

Ive been blogging for nearly 6 years and have found that writing about hands is as instructive as playing them!

Jennifer Jones

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