Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reno Jacoby Swiss

Here's a hand from the last match of the Jacoby Swiss when we and our opponents were already assured of playing in a different event the following day (spots approximate).

North: ♠AK8532 J832 – ♣Q93
South: ♠764 AQ65 862 ♣AK7


North East South West
 1    3    X    4
 4     p   4♠   all pass

With 2-2 trumps, the K onside and doubleton, thirteen tricks were there.  The opposing team got to a small slam (at the other table, East bid only 2 and West 3).  How should we have reached 6 or 6♠ if at all? Comments welcome.


  1. Blame Gloria for telling me about your blog Robin. Enjoying it.

    I think South erred by making a negative double. 4D right away leaves the partnership far better placed. Mel is always on me for not picturing slam in partner's suit with good controls, and this hand has three quicks + a juicy diamond holding. Chasing the 4-4 instead of the 5-3 doesn't make sense if the plan is to protect partner's 3H call (which might be on 3) with 4S all along anyway. After 4d -(5d)-p-p, this hand gets better.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Steve. The danger I feel with an immediate 4D call is that it suggests (though doesn't promise) control of the diamond suit. At that point in the auction, opener could still have three small diamonds. OTOH, if we agree (as I prefer) that 4D here simply shows a good hand (and, at this level in the auction, a spade fit), then it is the perfect bid. Indeed, no other bid does the hand justice. I was North, BTW. I was a little surprised (shocked?) when I saw how good dummy was!

  3. I should also note that the probability of taking all 13 tricks is 0.41 (2-2 spades) x 0.136 (Kx hearts onside), i.e. 5.6%. The probability of making at least 12 tricks is 0.68 (3-2 hearts) x 0.7168 (either HK onside or spades 2-2), i.e. 48.8%. Thus this is not a good slam at IMPs (or matchpoints).