The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

The Better Bid, The Better Card

Holding s:Q8642 H:83 D:Q42 C:A72 with all vulnerable at IMPs, LHO opens 1D, partner bids 1S and RHO doubles (negative).

I should have bid 4S. It might make. It might be a good sacrifice against 4H. But I make our systemic “Good single raise” bid of 2H (alerted, of course). LHO bids 3D and partner bids 3S, competitive and not offering game. RHO and I pass (after all, we could be off the the first three diamond tricks if partner has xxx). LHO is back there with 4D, passed to me.

I should probably pass. Partner has made no strong big. However, I do have two extra spades. LHO’s 3D could have been frisky, but 4D after we stop in a part score should be a serious suit. Partner is probably short in diamonds. The opponents never got to hearts, so partner probably has 4 hearts, and I can take care of two of them. I don’t think 4S is a favorite, and but it might have some play. And the opponents are not the doubling type.

I bid 4S. LHO and partner pass and RHO bids 5D. I pass and partner doubles, ending the auction.

Partner leads the 3 of spades (3rd and 5th leads).

        S:JT H:JTxxx D:Kxx C:Qxx
S3 led                      S:Q8642 H:83 D:Q42 C:A72

Dummy plays the SJ and I play the queen out of inertia.

Oops. I realize a second two late that I know the exact spade layout. Partner is showing exactly 5 spades, and would never underlead the ace, so declarer has the stiff ace. I had a really nice play available …. I could have played the Spade Deuce. When declarer wins the Ace partner will know exactly two things:
1) Declarer’s ace was stiff.
2) I strongly prefer my clubs to my hearts (since I played my lowest of four spot cards).

But I played the automatic card and now I’ve muddied the waters.

Declarer leads the Heart King and partner wins the ace. (I’ve played my lowest heart). Declarer looks like someone with KQ of hearts to me. Apparently partner believes that as well because he leads a small club (showing an honor) I win, return a club to partners king and only then does partner try to cash his spade king. But now they are down one. Declarer (an intermediate player), perhaps influenced by partners double, misplays trumps to go down 2. +500.

If I jump to 4S directly, we’re -100. We can’t make 4S, but they really can’t double or risk 5D. My slow bidding was revealing, but only to partner. My misplayed card could have cost (dearly) if partner wins the heart ace and tries to cash the spade king and declarer reads teh situation. He ruffs the spade, cashes the heart queen (pulling partners trump) and then plays the HJ. If I ruff he over-ruffs, pulls my trump, and can use a low trump to enter dummy.

Fortunately partner was awake to the this possibility (why would I take the push to 4S unless I had undisclosed offense, which pretty much has to be long spades). And by that point at the hand, the club ace was the only significant card I could have.

Playing against weak players can make you sloppy, which is why I try to figure out all the mistakes I made in a session, even if I got away with most of them. Fortunately, this is probably my 2nd worst hand of the day.

(The worst hand I will not speak of).

We survived the knock out yesterday, easily beating the team of flight B players but losing to the experts (partially due to my worst mistake, partially due to our teammates worst mistake, and due to the experts making less mistakes). But 1-1 was enough to advance. Today we’re playing heads up against a team including two competent players and two immensely strong players, so I’ll have my mistakes revealed very quickly, no introspection required.


Written by taogaming

October 11, 2014 at 8:46 am

Posted in Bridge, Session Reports

2 Responses

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  1. Ought you bid 4S? Let’s see: s:Q8642 H:83 D:Q42 C:A72
    Give partner AKJ10xx KQx xx xx. Game looks awful. Give
    him AKJ10xx Axx xx Qx. Not a lot of play, and he has a 14-count
    with a sixth trump. You want a stiff diamond: AKJxxx Axx x Qxx.
    The C9 might be worth a trick here, but game is under 50-50
    without it. So, probably you are not worth a game bid, and
    with 5332, spades, an ace, and an 8-count, preemption is probably
    not critical. The value bid is a mixed raise; most these days play
    that one of 3D or 3H is a mixed raise: 7-9 HCP or so and four or
    more trumps. Either will make it hard for the opponents to bid
    without forcing you to a possibly hopeless game. Note that if
    one of your hearts is a small minor suit card, game is good on
    two of the three (except for the one where pard has KQx opposite
    your shortness…unlucky).

    On the other hand, +140 is not as good as +500.


    October 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    • I had completely forgotten the possibility of a mixed raise. (We did discuss it in the post mortem, so I just didn’t mention it here). For us 3D is mixed (Jump Q).


      October 14, 2014 at 5:07 pm

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