Monday, May 31, 2010

A nice bit of hand evaluation

The setting: a club Swiss – the last of four six-board matches. There are three strong teams, six not particularly strong teams and ourselves. We are not doing particularly well.  We have no chance of winning and if we don't do something good in the last match, we won't scratch.  We've had one very lucky result but a couple of soft boards.  As it turns out, we are ahead by just one imp half-way through.  On the fourth board, all are vulnerable and I pick up ♠QJ982 KT64 75 ♣83 (spots approximate).  Len, my partner, is the dealer and opens 1♣.  I bid 1♠ and partner rebids 1NT, showing a balanced 15-17.  I rebid 2, showing no interest in game and offering partner a choice of majors.  Partner  surprises me by jumping to 4!  His hand is, literally, aces and spaces.  But he knows the power of aces (his 4333 hand is now worth about 18 points) and with two eight-card major suit fits, and a vulnerable game possibility, he decides to bid it all on his own.  I dare say that I would have raised to four if he'd bid three.

Interestingly, this is a hand where we might actually have a slight advantage over the strong no-trumpers.   I can show both majors with a fairly narrowly-defined sub-invitational range (6-8 hcp).  Strong no-trumpers probably get to use this sequence more frequently but, for them, the range is less narrowly-defined (6-11 hcp or thereabouts).  It really wouldn't make sense to have this auction playing a strong no-trump because the responding hand could easily be much too weak.

Anyway, the opening lead is a diamond and dummy is: ♠AT6 A953 A62 ♣A94.  As long as trumps are three-two (they are), I can make this hand if either the ♠K is onside (it isn't) or if the player with the last heart has four spades (he hasn't).  Fortunately, for me, the defense isn't perfect and I'm able to pitch dummy's two losing clubs before the ace is knocked out.  That's 10 tricks, 10 imps and a win by 6, which is just enough to put us into 3rd place.

No comments:

Post a Comment