Author Topic: Creature's Features  (Read 4043 times)

kenberg

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Re: Creature's Features
« Reply #45 on: July 25, 2020, 06:22:42 PM »
A couple of thoughts on board 11. 1 !H - pass - ?

!S Q98764
!H AK82
!D 7
!C A5

I chose 4 !D, as did Jim when he played this. Jim reports that at the other table, where he played this,the choice over 1 !H was 1 !S. The hand was played in 4 !H  at my table and at Jim's also,  although in my case pard stated regret about his 4 !F call even before the opening lead, mentioning that he had thought he was a third hand opening, with me as a passed hand.

Here are the combined hands:

!S Q98764
!H AK82
!D 7
!C A5


!S 3
!H QJ964
!D AKQ43
!C K4

This is making 6, barring extreme bad breaks. given a small !S to the A and a !S back you have to decide what to ruff with. But otherwise, you can survive almost anything, for example if !D at  5-2 and !h are 4-0 you still bring it in.

It's true that a lot of people play that while a splinter is of course a good hand it is not a super good hand. For the super good hand you do something else. But I would not think that they would say that a hand containing !H AKxx, !C  A, and a stiff !D is too good a hand.

But there might be dissenting views on this.

As to bidding 1 !S over 1 !H, I don't understand the reasoning. It seems to me that if you do that then, no mater how many times you then bid !H in support of partner, partner is not going to play you for four card support. having a nine card fit is often a key element of slam bidding. Now here it could have worked out because it went 1 !H - 1!S -3 !D, an overbid I think when that 1 !S could have been on KQxxx and out. Anyway, 3 !D puts us in a game force and now, if responder can just learn of the second round spade control he can bid the !H slam. But surely the splinter makes the bidding easier.

So a question: Is respnder's hand regarded as too strong for a splinter? And if not, then why would anyone do anything other than splinter?

Added: I checked on Larry Cohen's site
https://www.larryco.com/bridge-articles/splinter-bids
He says
"it shows approximately 11-15 in support (counting shape). With more (or less), responder should choose some other auction"
This would make the hand close to being too strong, maybe saved by "approximately".  The !S Q is worthless but of course responder doesn't yet know that at the time of the splinter.
I like the splinter (well, it was my choice of bid) but perhaps the hand is a bit strong for it. Change the !S Q to a !S J and it seems within bounds. So it's approximately within bounds. I think that it is the right bid.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 02:01:12 AM by kenberg »
Ken

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Re: Creature's Features
« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2020, 02:42:04 AM »
Splinter would not be my choice. It’s just a whisper too strong. Standard, in my opinion, is to limit the range of a splinter by responder to a narrow range. That range for me is 9-12 HCP.

If responder bids spades, a problem looms on the horizon. Imagine opener rebidding 2 !D. You’re forced to rebid 3 !C to force game and still have not shown your heart fit.

I am left with 2NT.
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kenberg

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Re: Creature's Features
« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2020, 11:30:52 AM »
Splinter would not be my choice. It’s just a whisper too strong. Standard, in my opinion, is to limit the range of a splinter by responder to a narrow range. That range for me is 9-12 HCP.

If responder bids spades, a problem looms on the horizon. Imagine opener rebidding 2 !D. You’re forced to rebid 3 !C to force game and still have not shown your heart fit.

I am left with 2NT.

Right. A whisper too strong. Only 11 of my high card points are working, but of course I don't know that when I am selecting my first bid. And the !H AK and !C A are about as prime an 11 count as you can have.  So maybe "a whisper too strong" is the right description.

I have the Lawrence CD on conventions (pretty good I think) and he stipulates that the 2NT is on a balanced hand. But I think this is a view that has maybe gone by the boards. Holding responder's hand I want to show four hearts and, as you are also saying,  really if I don't do it at my first bid I cannot do it later.

I think a practical distinction between the splinter and the 2NT might be "show" versus "tell".  A splinter shows 4+ trump, a stiff, and some range of hcps. The 2NT also shows 4+ trump and enough for game, but if we use it as a catchall to include hands with a stiff that are too strong for a splinter, thenthe 2NT can be on quite a large variety of hands.

There was some discussion about what happens after 1 !H - 2NT. Me, I would bid 4 !D with opener's 5-5. The call shows a strong five card suit, I have a strong five card suit. It's true that as the hands are, responder would be happy to hear of the stiff !S.
An argument was that the 4 !D call should not only show the strong five card suit but also deny an outside value such as the !C K.  I'm not convinced. Whether my clubs are Kx or xx, opener have a good play for 6 !H. the !C K helps,  of course it helps but I think 6 !S is a good deal more than an even bet even if we change the K to a deuce. The real issue is, from responder's view, the possible loss of the first two !S ricks.  So on this hand, showing the stiff !S over 2NT is the most useful call. But on the other other hand I think often, on other deals, the long strong !D will be the most useful info. Even here, with the 3 !S over 2NT, responder now knows he will not lose the first two spade tricks but he does not know of that great source of tricks in the !D suit.

Once upon a time the splinter was on shortness, the 2NT was on a balanced hand. But if we limit the strength for the splinter then it seems to me that the 2NT call has to take up the slack. I don't think the implications of this have been widely discussed. Not in anything I have read.

In the "other table" auction Jim gives, I don't like the 1 !S response, I don't like the 3 !D rebid, and nobody likes the jump to 4 !H.

Btw Jim, you said this was from some sort of named contest or something. What was it? I did not recognize the name you gave. Something about stars?
Ken

jcreech

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Re: Creature's Features
« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2020, 12:28:02 PM »
A few note/comments/clarifications:

1. Ken -

The hand was played in 4 !H  at my table and at Jim's also,  although in my case pard stated regret about his 4 !F call even before the opening lead, mentioning that he had thought he was a third hand opening, with me as a passed hand.


After the splinter, my partner drove to slam using RKC.

2. Todd -
Splinter would not be my choice. It’s just a whisper too strong. Standard, in my opinion, is to limit the range of a splinter by responder to a narrow range. That range for me is 9-12 HCP.


I agree that a splinter should be a narrow range, but my range is a bit higher than yours - 11 - 14 (10+ to 15- effectively).  What the range becomes, though, is really a matter of partnership understanding.

On a slightly different note, I don't always respect the ranges of bidding choices.  For example, I have played fit-showing jump shifts with several partners for years.  Our agreement has always been at least 9 cards in the two suits with limit raise values. I respect the 9 card agreement, but not always in the manner it was intended.  For example, If I have a very beefy 4-card side suit, I will pretend that it is 5, as long as I also have 5 in the intended trump suit.  I will also make the bid with a bit of HCPs in reserve; since it forces back to the original suit, if partner turns down the invitation, with something in reserve, I will take the contract on to game.

3. Ken -

Btw Jim, you said this was from some sort of named contest or something. What was it? I did not recognize the name you gave. Something about stars?

BBO has a section called "Challenges" where you can challenge a variety of opponents:  a bot, another specific player, or a "Star" player that is randomly assigned from those that have played the same set of hands.  With the split server, I have had more difficulty playing in matches with IAC players as well as other sources for my hands, so I have resorted to these Star Challenges to be my supplement for hands.  Most of the international stars I have not recognized, but I was thrilled when George Jacobs showed up as one of my opponents, and I have recognized several along the way.

4.  General, but related to Ken's "show and tell" discussion.  I have increasingly felt that one of the considerations when responding to partner is whether you should be asking partner about their hand or telling partner about yours.  In a way, it is an extension of the Captaincy issue.  When you ask, you are retaining the Captaincy of the auction, but when you tell, you are passing Captaincy to partner and inviting them to keep it if they have enough information to make the final decision.

This is a hand that has several options of how to approach the auction.  None are perfect, but most are interesting.  In class, and in the hands document, I spend a fair amount of time talking about many of those options.  One I did not bring up, but BluBayou did, is the Soloway Jump Shift - in class I said it was right on values, but wrong on suit quality of the spades.  I think of the SJS in support of the opener's suit, to be showing a source of tricks.  QJxxxx is only a source of tricks opposite a fit or shortness and the ability to set up the suit.  But if it were a bit better, it could have been used to show the good suit, a heart fit, and singleton diamond, and opposite the right hand, partner would be in a position to know whether to drive to slam or not, below game.

kenberg

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Re: Creature's Features
« Reply #49 on: July 27, 2020, 03:30:39 PM »
The hand leads to many thoughts. As far as the Soloway Jump Shift is concerned , I think 1 !H - 2 !S, followed by showing !H support, should be on better spades. I have not been able to find exactly this situation in the literature, but in Two Over One by Mike Lawrence (1987) page 146, he is discussing the case where responder has a suit of his own together with support for partner: "You should not jump shift into a suit as bad as !S QT865, It will be hard to convince partner you have a two loser suit".  This is the way I was thinking. On our hand the !S are six to the Q rather than five to the Q, but the idea is the same.    After 1 !H - 2 !S and a show of !H support partner will not be worrying that maybe the opponents are about to cash two !S tricks.   

One way to think about the auction 1 !H - 2NT - 4 !D as compared with 1 !H - 2NT - 3 !S:  The 4 !D call promises a good five card diamond suit to go with the five cards heart suit and therefore there is a singleton or void somewhere. Perhaps opener, when choosing between bidding the stiff versus showing the strong five card suit could ask himself: If it goes 1 !H -2 NT - 4 !D - 4 !H am I willing to continue with a 4 !S call? A pair could agree that the 4 !S, after 1 !H -2 NT - 4 !D - 4 !H , then says: Yes I have a good five card diamonds suit, yes I have four card heart support, yes I have a stiff spade, and moreover my hand is strong enough so I am willing to force us to the five level  If he thinks the hand does not warrant this aggressive action then he gives up on showing the strong !D suit and just bids the stiff spade immediately. Does the hand in question qualify for this aggressive approach? Perhaps.

I enjoy discussing these hands.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 03:34:02 PM by kenberg »
Ken

jcreech

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Re: Creature's Features
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2020, 01:01:52 AM »
Attached are the hands and notes for the 8/6/20 class.

jcreech

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Re: Creature's Features
« Reply #51 on: August 22, 2020, 09:49:01 PM »
Notes from 8/20/2020 class.

jcreech

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Re: Creature's Features
« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2020, 11:38:34 AM »
Attached are the hands from Friday's lesson

kenberg

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Re: Creature's Features
« Reply #53 on: September 05, 2020, 03:13:13 PM »
Again these hands were interesting and again I played a few of them and will comment.

The third board, board 11:
As Jim said at the table, this appears to be a 2 !S opener. I regard myself as more cautious than many about weak 2 openings. If the !S 9 were the !S 2 I might pass, if vul I certainly would pass, but non vul with the suit headed by the QT9 and an outside A? Looks like a 2 !S call to me. The raise to 4 !S was optimistic but if the defense starts with three rounds of diamonds I will ruff the third round, knock out the !S A, win the !H return, draw trump, take the !C finesse, and then take ten tricks for a lucky make. But it was not to be, the opponents took two !D and shifted to a !H. Now off 1 is inevitable.

I sometimes note that LOTT fails, in a recent hand of Joe's I believe it was off by three tricks. But here it is right on the money.18 total trump, 18 total tricks.

On the fourth board, bd 12, I opted for 1!D instead of 1NT despite my 15 count.  Not so crazy since despite pard's 10 count I see no way to make 9 tricks on the (fairly likely) spade lead. Playing in 3 !D I won the opening !H lead and played the !D A and then, when the T fell, a small !D to the 8 losing to the K. Just looking at the A963 in hand and the Q842 on the board I would not want my life to depend on picking up the suit with a loss of only one trick but with luck it happened. Even so, if I am in 3NT that would be three !D tricks to go with my two !S ricks and i need four more. Lotsa luck. Playing in !D, I got the reasonable lead of the !H K. In NT, that's not going to happen. Yes, !C split. But before I can get those tricks I will be
losing three spades, a diamond and a club. And that's after I bring in the !D suit losing only one, and find the !C suit 3-3.

So 3NT is not a great contract and should not make. Anyway, I like my 1 !D opening although I understand it is not everyone's choice.   I took the 3 !D response to be weaker than it was else I probably would have ended in 3NT anyway, off a trick.
Ken

jcreech

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Re: Creature's Features
« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2020, 10:25:49 PM »
9/17/2020 lesson hands

jcreech

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Re: Creature's Features
« Reply #55 on: October 03, 2020, 10:45:32 PM »
10/1/20 lesson notes