The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

A very tough, quite hard, almost impossible bidding problem.

Jeff may get this, but only because he’s an expert.

Your partner opens 1H, RHO overcalls 1 Spade and you hold
 S: Jxx
 H: Axx
 D: xx
 C: Q9xxx

Whatever do you do? How do I know that this is a tough bidding problem? Because my online partner, who clearly identified himself an advanced player, got it wrong. Did he support hearts? Oh no, he did not. He bid 2 clubs

I can portray myself as a basketweaving expert, or Le Bron James, or whatnot online, and nobody can dispute me. You can fudge a little here and there on bridge, but really, if you claim “Advanced” then I hope that you can at least keep up the appearance for two hands. His first hand, with two points, he played well. And although his bidding didn’t turn out so well (failing to double blackwood bid for the setting lead), I can totally sympathize. In a sane world I’d claim “intermediate,” but given that I can find my Merrimac coups mere seconds after I play the wrong card, I feel I’m entitled…

(That prior hand saw an “Expert” open 1NT see his partner bid a game without expressing slam interest. Said expert invoked blackwood and found his partner with a perfect 13 count that could have splintered.)

Update — And because Jeff may ask, I opened in second seat, not 3rd.

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Written by taogaming

April 21, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Posted in Bridge

4 Responses

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  1. I’m definitely a rookie at bridge so I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind. When I looked at your query I at least could understand the temptation to respond in a long(er) suit. I assume your convention requires a five card major for opening (I guess that’s pretty standard)? Three cards with the ace is great and all, but perhaps the clubs could’ve been better or does the overcall preclude even trying that?

    Andy Henrick

    April 21, 2009 at 10:14 pm

  2. Andy, Brian’s partner’s hand isn’t strong enough for a 2C bid. Whether or not there’s an overcall, he needs 10 points in order to make a 2 over 1 bid (at least he does in Standard American). He has fine support for his partner’s suit, so he should happily bid 2 Hearts. Not only does that properly state the value of his hand, it gives his partner the information he needs in case there’s a competitive auction.

    Ekted, you may be misreading the hand. With 7 HCP, unexciting shape, and only three cards in Hearts, a bid of 4 Hearts is a huge gamble. It’s simply not the right sort of hand for that action. Change two of the Spades to Hearts and then it’s a fine bid.

    Larry Levy

    April 21, 2009 at 11:46 pm

  3. Others have covered this point, but I’ve been thinking about the Hueristics of bidding systems recently, so I’ll elaborate. The goal of bidding is to find a) level and b) suit (or NT). An 8+ card fit is good enough (in a major), and partner has enough to make a bid (6+ points), but not enough to make a strong bid (less than 10). So a minimum raise in hearts is required.

    Even with the overcall, Andy, 2 Clubs shows at least an invitational hand (10+ points).

    Brian

    April 22, 2009 at 10:35 am

  4. Others have covered this point, but I’ve been thinking about the Hueristics of bidding systems recently, so I’ll elaborate. The goal of bidding is to find a) level and b) suit (or NT). An 8+ card fit is good enough (in a major), and partner has enough to make a bid (6+ points), but not enough to make a strong bid (less than 10). So a minimum raise in hearts is required.

    Even with the overcall, Andy, 2 Clubs shows at least an invitational hand (10+ points).

    Brian

    April 22, 2009 at 10:35 am


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