Bob Munson

Recap of 2/4/2013 21 board game – IMP individual

“Finished in the top 5” was a report that I frequently gave to a very friendly gentleman who played in my 5 Table Mitchell game on a cruise – he knew it meant he finished last, but he enjoyed the humor.  On Monday, I “finished in the top 8 (last)” in our 8 player individual game.  And, the way the scoring obviously works, 3 others players scored poor results with my poor bidding/play while 4 others benefited quite nicely.  There were only 3 double digit swings this time, but several other hands of interest.  Here we go…

This hand is one of my few successes of the day, although not entirely my fault.   Bidding is the key to the result on this hand.  North has an obvious pass and East has to decide how to open.  Pass, 1♣ and 3♣ are all within reason.  Preempts don’t always work, but the effect can be devastating.  In the movie shown, you see the effect of opening 1♣.  The opponents are quickly in the auction and eventually bought it for 3♠, which makes (but in practice made 5).  My partner opened 3♣ and after a 3 overcall, I raised to 4♣ which ended the auction.  A heart or spade lead could have beaten 4♣ but the actual Q lead allowed 4♣ to come home.  Part scores making at both tables +130 +200 brought home 8 IMPs.  Opening 3♣ could miss 3NT – here the defense to beat 3NT is not too easy to find.  A spade must be played early by North.  This means if East declares 3NT, South must lead a heart (2 or A and then a heart to the K) and then after that start, North must shift to a spade.  But, my majors were so weak, I didn’t give 3NT much consideration.

I hate to include this next hand, but truth in reporting…

With 2 strong suits and 5=6 distribution, both tables jump shifted at their second response in spite holding only 14 HCP and a void in partner’s response.  The other table subsided quietly in 4 while I bid a crazy 6 – sorry teammates.  If I wanted to get to slam, I should have tried 4 and then given up when partner returned to 4.  I expected more for the jump shift, but even with AKQ AKQ partner still needs a decent spade split plus the A onside.  So, this one was 100% my fault.  Very poor bridge.

Next hand was a sad loss

Both tables bid to contracts that are hopeless on perfect defense.  But, we all know defense is not always perfect.  4 requires a non-trump lead (easy) and later score the 8.  When the defender went second hand high with the 8 on the initial trump lead, the 8 was lost, declarer losing 3 hearts but nothing else (did the defender think declarer led the 7 from QJT97?).  4♠ requires a trump lead and when the normal A was led, declarer simply needed to cross ruff his way to 10 tricks while guessing the ♣K.  He did guess the ♣K, but when he didn’t ruff the first trick, the defender accurately shifted to a trump and 9 tricks was the limit.  Lose 10 IMPs.

I had hopes a swing might be coming our way on the next hand, but…

Identical bidding at both tables to arrive at the cold (as the cards lie) 5.  Is it double dummy play to make it?  Perhaps, but I don’t think so.  The spade suit is the key, since you must assume the K is on side to have any chance to make the contract.  The odds, a priori, for the A on side is 50%, the JT onside is 25%, so clearly assume the A is onside…or not.  If the opening lead 2 (low from odd) is honest, hearts are 5-5.  After drawing 2 rounds of trump, you know South held 2 diamonds to North’s one.  Did South open the bidding in first seat with Jxxx AKQxx xx xx?  Certainly possible.  It doesn’t satisfy the ‘rule of 20’ but neither does the actual South hand.  However, 3 quick tricks are usually an opening bid in anyone’s book.  That argues for South holding the A.  But, assume for a minute that South does not have the A.  How do we reconstruct the hand that bid 4?  Axx xxxxx x Kxxx.  With 1st/2nd round control of every side suit and 5 trumps, most players would fear missing slam with a preemptive bid.  Partner could never expect this much.  If you conclude that not only must South have the A for their opening bid, but that North must not have the A for their preempt, then there is only one way to play the spade suit that can succeed – small to the 9.  On this hand it works.  Both declarer’s played to the K and my teammate didn’t bother with the club finesse, resulting in down 2 and losing 2 IMPs.

I didn’t contribute to our loss on the next one

Dan and Jack had an excellent auction to 5.  Only a spade lead holds it to 5, all other leads make 6 and, sure enough, Dan made 12 tricks.  I like Manfred’s 2 bid, but I don’t know if his bid contributed to finding the club fit.  At the other table, his hand did not intervene with 2 and the jump to 3 ended the auction.  Perhaps North should have introduced clubs?  Perhaps South should raise to 4/5?  N/S need to find game, be it 5 or 5.  But, disaster awaits any South, thinking that their heart bid will preclude a heart lead and tries 3NT over 3!!  Truth in reporting – I’m embarrassed to say that I had an undo on this hand.  For some reason, the auction seemed/felt like 1 (P) 1NT (2) instead of the actual auction.  So, when I heard 2, I took it as Michaels and bounced to 4.  But, then I looked again before the next player bid, saw that 2 was natural, asked for (and was granted) an undo, reverting to pass.  My hand was really soft opposite a natural 2 bid and I had no where to go.

Last hand, another embarrassment for me.

First the bidding – same at both tables up through 2.  My partner bounced to 4.  I like that.  The other table bid only 3, and that is OK too, but then I think my hand warrants continuation to game.  Anyway, they bid 3, made 3.  I bid 4, made 3.  If I can score 5+0+3+2 I am up to 10 tricks, losing only 1 heart and 2 clubs.  By the time I reached trick 3, I was pretty sure of 2 club losers and no diamond losers.  The key to the hand is, once again, the spade suit missing the JT.  I need to play spades for no losers.  Many textbooks cover these trump holdings: ATxx – KQ9xx and Axxx – KQ9xx.  In the first case, play the K or Q first (not the A) and if one hand shows out, you have the spot cards and transportation to finesse the J, losing no trump tricks.  On the second hand, play the A first (not the K or Q), since a 4-0 split can only be handled against one opponent.  I fear I was blinded by this ‘lesson’ when, in fact, there is a whole different setting for the hand in question with 8 combined trumps.  True, if I play the A first and South shows out, I can lead twice towards the KQ and make progress against North’s JT732.  In fact, on a good day,  I could escape with no losers if a trump coup position developed.  Interesting, but that is not this hand.  If trump are 5-0, I am going down.  So, assume they are not.  If trump are 3-2, I am making, no problem.  So assume they are not 3-2.  What can I do about 4-1 trumps?  Well, if North has JTxx and I peak for a second round finesse, I can escape with no loser.  That isn’t very helpful, since there is no peaking on BBO.  So, the 4-1 splits that I can handle are where there is a singleton J or T.  And, I have the beauty of the strength and spots to go either way.  Assuming restricted choice (if a first round J or T falls, assume it is a singleton), all I need to do is play the K or Q from dummy, note that North played the J, assume it is singleton and lead the 9 from dummy, finessing against the Txx remaining in the South hand.  Easy Peasy.  I started with  the A and then had no play.  Instead of losing 6 IMPs, I win 10 IMPs if I play spades right.

Bad day at Black Rock.  Again, apologize to my teammates.


RL PastorFebruary 8th, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Board 11 had an interesting backdrop. The double of 4H promises significant values to force partner to bid potentially at the 5 level. In this context West isn’t compelled to bid unless there is a good expectation of a make. I don’t fault West for taking this position, but take a look at the alternative. Especially sweet at matchpoints, n’est pas?

bobmunsonFebruary 9th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

The spade position that allows 5D to make appears to set 4H 3 tricks for +500, but it turns out that is an illusion. South can always endplay East to hold the loss to -300 (possibly a little bit double dummy, but I think not). However, that may still be an outstanding matchpoint score if no one figures out to make 5D! Plus is often good at IMPs or matchpoints!

Leave a comment

Your comment