Author Topic: And what shows what?  (Read 470 times)

kenberg

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And what shows what?
« on: June 14, 2017, 01:54:23 PM »
Trigger warning. Didactic comments ahead.

2/1 pard?

It's not enough, here is a simple hand, with variants, to make the point

North, the spade hand, is the dealer.

Case 1:
North:
!S AKQJ7
!H Q
!D 973
!C QJT6

South:
!S T42
!H A643
!D A2
!C AK85

Ok, you have a good play for 7 !C on your 30 (28 working) high card points, but that's not what I am after.

Lets look at
Case 2:
North:
!S AKQJ7
!H Q7
!D 93
!C QJT6

South:
!S T42
!H A643
!D A2
!C AK85

In case 1 we can make 6 !S assuming we can get our !D  ruff before the defenders get a ruff. A dummy reversal also could (and does) work but surely that's the hard way. In case 2 we can easily make 6 !C on a 3-2 club split, but there is no play for 6 !S , at least not on a !D lead. . 

I think we should forgive ourselves if we do not reach 7 !C in case 1. But our agreements should be strong enough to get us to 6 !C in case 2 if we are to bid any slam at all.

So let's tackle Case 2.

Surely the bidding begins 1 !S - 2 !C - 3 !C - 3 !S.   Even if we were playing SAYC, that 3 !S must be forcing after the minor suit raise. Anyway, I am assuming 2/1.

So what's up? Surely if S had  2/1 values, clubs, three spades, and a minimum he would bid 2 !C and then 4 !S.  So that's what he doesn't have. I think the right call over 3 !S is 4 !C.  Now South can pretty much count 12 tricks in a club contract, or at least that's so if he can bring in spades without loss. There is a good chance the partnership gets to 6 !C after the 4 !C .




Case 1 was the actual hand, and afterward it was noted that 7 !C is on. Can it be reached? Oh, probably not. But there is something worth discussing.

After 1 !S - 2 !C what is 3 !H?  Imo it is something like what N actually has. It is still asking a lot to actually reach 7 !C but the stiff heart and the good club support is the reason the grand is on, so if we are getting there, then that's how it has to start.
Added: This assumes that the 3 !H is a splinter, not everyone plays it that way. It could be that 3 !H shows a strong 5-5 hand. Bidding 2 !H and later 3 !H then shows a modest 5-5, the direct jump shift shows a strong 5-5. I think the splinter is the more common usage.  But "what means what?" is often an issue.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 11:52:51 AM by kenberg »
Ken

OliverC

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Re: And what shows what?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2018, 09:38:19 AM »
Dealing in practicalities, the situations where a 4-4 or 4-3 Minor fit actually is better than a 5-3+ Major fit are very hard to diagnose for almost any system. Witness the penultimate Board of the last BB where I think only one pair in the entire field got to 7 !D on a 4-3 fit and loads got to a failing 7 !S on the 5-4 fit there. The Pair that got to the right Grand were playing relatively stone-age Acol. If the best Pairs in the World consistently get it wrong in that kind of situation, I don't think you should beat yourself up for not getting it right.

In your sequence once the bidding gets to 1 !S - 2 !C - 3 !C - 3 !S, it's a really hard thing to do diagnose that Clubs is a better contract and end up there rather than Spades. Give South a 5th Club and one less Heart and it's more likely 2/1 might get there because they're perhaps more likely to go after the Club fit given their relatively poor Spade support. Even on your first hand, though, is North's hand really worth a splinter over 2 !C in 2/1 (effective 13-count and poor controls outside Spades)?

As an irrelevant aside, OCP might get it right, but on the hand you give (Case 1) it's doubtful because it would be a fairly expensive sequence (1 !S - 1NT - 2 !C - 2 !D(Ask !S) - 2NT - 3 !S(Ask !S) - 4 !H(!SAKQ) - 5 !C(Ask !C) - 5 !H(3rd Rnd Ctrl) - 6 !C(Ask !C) - 7 !C(!C QJxx(x)) - Pass) and it would need a leap of faith to visualise the possibility of !C QJxx opposite and ask again in Clubs rather than signing off in 6 !S.
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kenberg

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Re: And what shows what?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2018, 12:22:33 PM »
I strongly believe in accepting limitations. Limitations of any system I am playing and limitations of my brain/imagination. I see your comment as agreement on this point.

Still, hands can illustrate the obvious: Agreeing to play 2/1 and having no further discussion can then lead to problems. I first learned bridge in 1961 by reading, to borrow your phrase, stone age Goren. We played social bridge, rubber scoring, everyone had read the same book, there was something to be said for this approach.  But the past is past.

Some more thoughts:

It cannot be that after 1 !S then any 2/1 call in a new suit promises five cards. South would have to  excuse himself from the table, saying the system does not allow him to bid this hand.  But just about everyone plays that 1 !S - 2 !H promise five, and it has become fairly popular to have 1 !S - 2 !D also promise five. But now imagine South's hand with clubs and diamonds interchanged: T42 / A643 / AK85 / A2.  Partner opens 1 !S and S does what? In complicated sequences sometimes we have to invent a bid on the spot, but this should not be the case for 1 !S - 2m in a discussed system. The S hand presumably must bid either 2 !C or 2 !D and the partnership should agree on which it is. Or, if they start this with 1NT (not a system I would want to play) they need to agree on what happens next.

A fairly common approach is to allow the 2 !C call to be a catchall. After 1 !S - 2 !C opener will not raise to 3 !C unless he has four. Of course four won't always be enough, but responder then clarifies.  If the 2 !C was not really on a club suit of any note then he presumably either has three spades and bids 3 !S or he has enough in red cards so that he can bid 3NT.

Playing this way it would seem that after 1 !S - 2 !C then opener might be wary of bidding a splinter 3 !H, although it could be ok, perhaps, if they agree that after the 3 !H a call by responder of either 3 !S or 3NT is an announcement that the 2 !C is not to be taken seriously.

Still on the subject of agreements, I am confident that I can find literature with 1 !S - 2 !C -3 !H treated as a strong 5-5. The auction 1 !S -2 !C -2 !H does not then deny 5-5, opener can later rebid 3 !H also showing 5-5, the difference is in the strength of the suits. The direct 3 !H being bid with stronger suits.

I am not advocating any particular agreement here. The idea of the post was to illustrate that simply agreeing to play 2/1 is often insufficient.

In Todd's thread on Bridge World quizzes I noted that BW has a glowing review of a new Kit Woolsey book. I think KW is good at finding and clarifying various ambiguities. I might well buy it. And perhaps even read it! A favorite skit on some tv show: A woman was saying that she had joined a health club and it hadn't done her a bit of good. "Apparently you also have to go", she explained.


 



Ken