Bob Munson

Recap Of 2/9/2015 21 Board IMP Individual on BBO

We played 7 rounds, 3 boards per round.  After 3 rounds, 9 boards, we had 4 pushes, 4 1 IMP swings, and 1 4 IMP swing.  Normally, I confine most commentary to the double digit swings, but the first hand I’m going to review is the 4 IMP swing on board 3.

Everybody loves to bid, but sometimes passing is the best action.  Here, at my table (not shown), as West, I passed 2 and NS played it there, just making.  At the other table, shown above, West (Mike) decided to come in 3.  Why?  Beats me.  A good bridge player always makes book, and with most any reasonable defense, book is all West can make in 3.  A penalty double by North seems impossible, but with the fine defensive hand held by South, -3 for +300 or +800 (unlikely) is there for NS.  But, not only did Mike like to bid, Manfred liked to bid too, so his 3 bid took Mike off the hook and South took the same 8 tricks that the 2 bid did at my table, so my team lost 4 IMPs (-50, -110) due to our teammates ‘being pushed’ to 3.

It is a bidders game, and you will see bidding take center stage on the next 4 hands, all double digit swings involving high level diamond contracts.

As you can see, Manfred judged to bid ‘only’ 6 and easily made 12 tricks.  He would have 12 tricks even without the A.  At the other table, 

Jerry put maximum pressure on Bill, and, with little room to enquire/probe Bill decided to take a stab at the grand.  If West held the A instead of the A, it would have made a huge difference in the IMPs.  My team won 14 IMPs for +980 and +100.

Next up, Manfred and I felt we ‘stole’ the hand in 3, going down 3 undoubled non-vulnerable tricks for -150 compared to the 2 choices of vulnerable games available – 4 or 5♣, both of which make.  

But as you see here

The game chosen (5) was not a success.  We lost 10 IMPs for -3 at both tables, -150 and -300.  Several interesting points as the auction unfolded.  Even practiced partnerships with lots of notes can have vague ideas about what the double of 3 shows.  Rarely is it strictly penalty, but I think it suggests a misfit (no great fit for either suit shown so far) with unclear direction and willing to defend.  But in fact, either suit shown by North fits reasonably well with the South hand, since game makes in both of them.  However, the auction diverted into choosing South’s suit, a diamond game contract which was not successful.  Should North bid 4 over the double?  Should South raise to 5?  Not on this hand.

Next up, two different unmakable games (assuming best defense) were bid.  Both games did not get best defense, so both could have been made.  But only one did.

At my table, I liked my singleton club, support for diamonds, allowing ruffing in the short hand, so I bounced to the diamond game.  When West led a spade at trick 3 after winning the A, declarer is home, since they can hold their spade losers to 1, pitching the other spade on the Q.  However, the timing must be right after winning the K.  Declarer must cash a high diamond, ruff the club, cash the A, cash the Q pitching the spade, ruff a heart back to hand, draw trump and claim.  When declarer basically played for 2-2 trump (led to the A without first getting the club ruff in), the power of the outstanding trump threatening an overruff doomed the contract.  He couldn’t get off dummy twice without an overruff.

Both auctions started exactly the same.  After opener’s jump rebid of 3, Manfred judged the South hand worth a 3 call (where I just  bounced to 5).  That resulted in North (Jerry) jumping to the spade game.  When in with the A, the singleton diamond finally got led, setting up a ruff for the setting trick.  However, when East won the A, capturing the K, instead of the diamond ruff for partner, he tried to lead to partner’s club trick (partner hadn’t tried to cash the club when in with the A, so the club at this point doesn’t feel right).  Because the 9 was spent on the first trump lead, declarer now only had 1 more trump to lose and plenty of tricks to bring home the spade game.

The weak spade suit is what “dooms” both 4 and 5, but defense provided opportunities for declarer and the red game making (4) and down (5) resulted in -620 and -100 for my team, lose 12 IMPs.  Disappointed.

On this next hand, once more a 5 contract comes into play.  At my table, Mike concealed the club suit, allowing me to introduce spades.  I luckily judged to take the red vs. white save vs. 5 when it came around to me.  And, West unluckily judged to take the phantom in 6.  With his solid spade trick to offer the defense, it would have been better to defend than bid on.  I thought both sides had double fits, so there are lots of tricks for both sides. The save in 6 over the opponents 5 would have been just as successful (-1) as my choice of saving in 5.  But, bidding one more can have the effect of causing the opponents to also bid one more, turning a save into great profit, when 6 was down a trick.

At the other table, the unusual NT prevented spades from being introduced and NS judged to defend 5 rather than save at 6.  So, when 11 tricks were there, our teammates were +450 to go with our +50  for 11 IMPs.

On this next hand, bidding was identical at both tables.  I was dummy.

After the spade lead, declarer only has 8 tricks unless a club/diamond squeeze can develop.  However, at my table, declarer tossed the Q on the 3rd spade, limiting potential club tricks, then misguessed to fly the Q, setting up 6 tricks for the defense, -2. -100.

At the other table, a heart was led at trick 1.  However, declarer still can’t manage 9 tricks.  But when in with the K, South must finally get spades going.  When South didn’t lead spades on opening lead nor when in with the K, declarer had enough time to develop 9 tricks and score the game.  +400 and +100, resulted in my team losing 11 IMPs.

On this last hand my 3 bid was a joke (vul vs. not), but preempts are made to give the opponents problems and they guessed wrong.

I’m not suggesting I made a good bid, but I felt like creating some action and this time it worked.  When my hand bid only 2 at the other table, the opponents played a quiet 4.  

There was nothing to the play with 11 tricks in a heart contract.  Well, not exactly nothing.  Without the ‘lead director’ diamond bid, pard may try a top spade.  With the fall of the 9, declarer has the timing to draw 2 trumps, then take 2 spade finesses, pitching the diamond loser and making 12 tricks.  But, with the diamond lead, 11 tricks max.  That meant +50 and +450 for my team, win 11 IMPs.

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