Bob Munson

Recap of 1/20/2014 21 board IMP individual on BBO

After a rough start trying to get all 8 signed into BBO and registered for the game, we finally were able to play 21 hands in around 2 hours.  There were 5 double digit swings and bidding was the source of all of them, although careful play could have reduced the impact (one less doubled undertrick) on 2 of them.

Board 2

Responder at the other table didn’t bother mentioning 1 and simply responded 1NT, raised to 2NT and reraised to 3NT.  Great auction, 9-10 tricks.  I was East and decided to make a passed hand double of 1.  I don’t know if my double got Bill worried, or if Mike intended 3 as forcing.  In any case, Bill passed 3 and they languished in a part score when a red game in clubs and NT were both available.  10 IMPs for our side.

Board 3

But I gave it all back on the next hand.  The bidding all makes sense up through 3 and competing to 3 also seems reasonable.  However, I couldn’t resist pushing onward to game even though partner had declined my invite earlier with the 2 bid.  Mike was there with the double.  Down 1 still loses 8 of the 12 IMPs (the other table was in 3, making), but the play at our table ended up down 2 and I lost 12 IMPs for the team.

Double dummy declarer always has 9 tricks.  Art was still on course for 9 tricks through trick 6, but he has to come off dummy with a trump after he wins the Q.  Instead, he ruffed a heart to lead trump from hand and ended up losing 5 tricks, -500.

Looking at the other table…The auction and play were different.  Chris offered his ‘invite’ via a redouble and a jump to 3.  The invite was declined and they bought the contract for 3.  Double dummy, the only route to 9 tricks is to start hearts at trick 2 (which Art did).  At this table, after winning the K at trick 1, 3 rounds of clubs were played  (ruffing in dummy and sticking declarer uncomfortably in dummy to begin hearts away from QJxx).  With that start declarer was heading for 8 tricks and -1.  Almost any line of play/defense gets 5 tricks for the defense (-1 in 3), but when declarer failed to ruff high at trick 11 (to prevent an over ruff), an over ruff achieves -2 for the defense.  But, the defender didn’t overruff at trick 11 with the J (and then draw trump, scoring the J at trick 13), they underruffed via a misclick on the 5 and declarer could now ruff their club for trick 12 and score  the K at trick 13 for their 9th trick and their contract. 

Note to players – I do allow ‘undo’ when playing on BBO.  We are just trying to play bridge and if you misclick a play, undo can allow you to play the intended card (or bid).  The undo icon is below the table window to the right of the claim button.

Interesting hand.  Tough to play/make 3.  Better to defend 3X where best defense can achieve +500.  In any case, my 4 bid was unwarranted and I paid appropriately for it, taking my teammates down with me.  Nice double Mike.

The next big swing was on Board 9

The East hand met the player’s criteria at both tables for a hand strong enough to double and then bid his own suit.  The diamond spots are a little disappointing, but the richness in aces and kings certainly helps.  The redouble will normally send some warning flags up – South (my hand) has an extremely strong defensive hand against a red suit contract.  At my table, West offered the suit that they were best prepared to play (clubs) and when North made a penalty double of clubs, East showed their true colors with 2.  South (me) doubled that for penalty, and partner, who didn’t have the greatest defensive hand retreated to 2.  But East persisted with 3 and when that was doubled, it ended the auction.  Best play can achieve -2, but in the fullness of time, the defense got -3, +800, win 12 IMPs.  The spade start is normal, and cashing the A at trick 2 cost nothing (and stripped South of his last black card, not that a club lead would ever help the defense), but declarer needs to lead hearts at trick 3 or they are down 3.  Later on, they also need to use the power of the 10 in dummy via an initial small diamond towards the 10.  Later South will be endplayed, forced to offer a ruff/sluff or give up some of the diamond strength costing a trick.  Declarer led clubs at trick 3 and ended -3.

In the auction at the other table with their weak black 5-5, North started with 1, pulled the XX (West didn’t bid) to 1 and pulled 2X to 2.  East competed no further (2 can be beaten) and South tried 2NT.  This can go down on the unlikely start of the Q.  However, looking at double dummy, the play to score 8 tricks in NT is still quite difficult.  After best defense, amazingly, 2NT can no longer be made if the A wins trick 1.  Declarer did win the A, played another heart to hand, and played a spade to the Q and K.  When East shifted to diamonds, declarer won the J and ran hearts (7 tricks).  On the run of the hearts, forcing many painful discards by both East and West, East pitched all diamonds but the A, but had to surrender the 8th trick to dummy’s K.  To beat 2NT, East needs to use the power of the QJT (but doesn’t know his partner has such strong clubs) and attack clubs after winning the K.  The diamond shift, allowed declarer to score a cheap diamond trick, and the defense had no recovery after that.

Next came a slam, grand or small depending upon…

The auction at our table was over (too) quickly.  1 – 6NT all pass.  At the other table, Art decided to take it a little slower, bidding only 2 over 1 to save bidding space and explore for the best contract.  Many play that the 2 rebid by East shows something extra – perhaps not a full reverse, but more than a balanced 12 HCP.  In any case, East had to bid something.  Without a 5th diamond, without a spade stopper for 2NT, and without a 3rd club, 2 seems pretty reasonable!  Art raised to 3 and soon RCKB got them to 7.  The 6 reply to the Q ask seems strange – normally you show the trump Q by bidding the cheapest K, which would have been 6.   In any case, they got to the excellent grand slam and scored 12 IMPs for their trouble.

The next ‘slam’ came on Board 17

The auction obviously began the same with the opener’s rebid deciding the final contract.  The other table felt that the soft points, soft shape, only warranted a rebid of 3.  At my table, East rebid the 4 game.  Looking at 3 aces after hearing 4, West couldn’t resist bidding 6.  Easy to make 6 by dropping the doubleton Q offside, but the  finesse produced only 11 tricks and 11 IMPs for my side.

This certainly is not a horrible slam, since a club finesse brings it home, but depending on how declarer manages the trump suit, there are a number of positions that can result in the loss of 2 trump tricks and then a successful club finesse merely holds your losses to -1.  So, not a terrible contract, but one that did not fetch and cost 11 IMPs this time.

As always, there were other interesting hands but those were the ones that caused the big swings.  Being on the wrong side of these, possibly through no fault of your own, makes the final score tough.


RL PastorJanuary 22nd, 2014 at 12:56 am

On board 10, I agree with your assertion “normally”. But, on this hand after 1d – 2c … the Qc has to be a huge card and in fact allows partner to count up 13 tricks. 7NT at mps or imps.

bobmunsonJanuary 22nd, 2014 at 1:18 am

Right, on board 10 even though I have had the specific discussion with a number of different partners that 2H shows extras, no other bid makes any sense at all, and that specific bid allows a nice procession to the grand slam. Well done.

bruce tuttleJanuary 22nd, 2014 at 6:25 am

on Board 9 a reasonable contract for N/S would be 4H. Hearts were never bid at either table !. If you get a diamond lead, you pitch a club and best for E is to lead back a trump. Declarer can win this and run Spade 8, and E is now on lead again with nothing good to do, and S will make 4Hearts. Holding 11 cards in the redsuits, a redouble seems a weird way to take a first call, IMO. I would have bid 1H..

bobmunsonJanuary 22nd, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Bruce – I intended to look at that and never got around to it – lack of time and wanted to publish. I have now looked at hearts – double dummy there is no lead (including the unlikely club Q) and no defense to beat 4H. Certainly floating the spade 8 early is a necessary ingredient of declarer play. Another key ingredient is finessing the heart 10 to establish the key entry to dummy’s spades (after an initial club lead).

Interesting, but one winning option on a diamond lead is to ruff. But, if you do ruff, the only winning play at trick 2 is a heart to hand to lead the spade 8 around to the K. Again, East is endplayed with many losing options.

But, back to your suggesetd opening lead (diamond) and discard at trick 1. East has no good options. Should East lead a trump, South can actually win in dummy and lead a high spade (not even bothering with floating the spade 8) and East is again endplayed. Or, incredibly, South can lead the club K after winning the heart return in dummy which leads to a very pretty cross ruff, squeeze endplay sequence against East. South scores 8 heart tricks and the diamond KJ at tricks 12-13.

Back to the bidding. I often bid rather than redouble, even with the requisite 10 HCP. Here I feared a misfit (and 4 hearts with my RHO) and felt there was time to bid hearts later. I was more than willing to defend a red contract against red opponents, so I redoubled. Partner was willing to defend clubs (at my table), so offense was never really considered after that. At the other table, Bill was facing a 1C opener, not a 1S opener, so I would have now hoped RHO held only 3 hearts and feared a massive preempt in spades blocking out sensible heart bidding later, so I think I would have mentioned my heart suit rather than redouble.

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