Saturday, October 17, 2009

A small slam on defense

An interesting hand came up playing with the GIBs on BBO. There were witnesses!

I picked up ♠9 AJ KQ53 ♣AK5432 in 2nd seat at favorable vulnerability in. A nice hand. The only question here is do we have enough to reverse if partner bids 1♠ (I would say not). But I wasn't faced with that decision because my RHO (the robot) opened 1♣. Now what? After some thought I decided to pass and hope that Kim wouldn't pass it out. She didn't. In fact she reopened with a double and it seemed to me that pass was best. And how?

We took 12 tricks -- the opening bidder scored only their A as we had a riot on defense. Kim was good enough to provide both the Q and J of ♣. Even though the robots were only at the 1-level, it was still 1700 and 14.5 imps to us (at matchpoints it would have been a top on the 16 tables that played the hand). Even if we had bid and made 6♣ it would have scored only 920 for about 7 imps. The robot made a reasonable 1♣ bid with ♠KQJ7 K75 A42 ♣T96 although this hand points out the dangers of not playing weak no trumps!

There was no variation in opening bids but quite a lot of different actions with my hand. A few passes, a number of doubles, a couple of 3♣ bids and one 2♣ call which did not work out well.

Incidentally, I was once taught a very useful sounding convention whereby you bid 2♣ to show a club overcall and 2 to show the majors. But I've never come across anyone playing it, at least not in North America.

If you're interested, here is the complete hand record.

BTW, Kim once witnessed, in real-live bridge between experts, a hand in which declarer, in 1NT took no tricks at all! Declarer was none other than Michael Rosenberg. Knowing that his opponents were using double conventionally, he dealt himself a Yarborough and opened 1NT. Each of his opponents had around 16 or 17 hcp yet were powerless to do anything! Rosenberg lost 350 points but, if I recall correctly, his teammates bid the vulnerable grand slam at the other table!

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