The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

A visit to the Psychiatrist

Playing bridge on BBO with my college partner against random opponents, I pick up a relatively sane hand. (Nobody Vulnerable)

S:6 H:KJ763 D:AJ872 C:J2

RHO and I pass and LHO opens 1 Heart in 3rd seat. Partner bids 1 Spade. RHO bids 2 Hearts.

Hearts are apparently 5=0=3=5 around the table. Even if I had a penalty double I wouldn’t do it, because hearts are behind me, but I don’t have one so I pass as does LHO.

Partner is in it with 2 Spades. RHO is also in it and bids 3 Hearts. He probably has a stiff spade, or is just making a bad bid. It happens a lot on BBO.

This I can unambiguously double for penalty. Yes, it might make (with hearts behind me) but partner bid 1S then 2S when I was a passed hand. He might have very well just pre-empted to 2S with a random 10 count or even 11 or 12. I would. I think partner has a solid opener. Even if lots of it is in spades, I like my chances, and against random opponents, I love them.

My LHO (opener) runs to 4 clubs. This has to be an escape bid (why not play 3H doubled?) I recognize it as an escape bid but don’t reach the obvious conclusion — Opener has lied. But I do realize something is fishy.

I’m not the only one who misses this conclusion because RHO corrects back to 4 Hearts (a suit I’ve already doubled) and I double again, ending the auction.

 P  P  1H  1S
2H  P  P   2S
3H  X  4C  P
4H  X  AP

Partner leads the spade ace (ace from AK) and dummy hits with:

S: J2 H:QT954 D:T65 C:A94

Opener didn’t fudge a four card major. This was an out-and-out psyche. Partner switches to the diamond four and I win the ace. Is partner’s four a singleton? That would give declarer four diamonds and presumably four spades. I honestly can’t tell if that’s a better psyche than if declarer has the stiff diamond and has long clubs. Not only do I not know who is short in diamonds, I have no idea how many hearts anyone has.

I switch to a heart and declarer shows out. Partner wins the ace (declarer pitching a spade) and now it’s just brutal.

Partner’s spade queen winning (I pitch a club)

Spade king ruffed with the 9 and overruffed with the jack, declarer playing the ten of spades.

At this point I know who has the stiff diamond.

Diamond to declarer’s king, partner ruffs.

Partner cashes the high spade, dummy pitches a diamond and I pitch my remaining club (declarer pitches a diamond)

Spade ruffed with the five and overruffed with the six.

Diamond ruff by partner, overruffed by dummy (my diamonds are now high, as declarer has doggedly kept clubs).

Dummy has H:Q C:Axx and I have H:K7 D:Jx

Declarer leads a club but I ruff, pull his trump and have the rest. Down nine doubled (mercifully not vulnerable) for 2300. As partner said, “they bid game, we made slam.”

I have a fair amount of sympathy for the psyche. If responder had just made the book bid of 4 Hearts, I would have been pickled. At that point I would suspect foul play (RHO should only have 3 hearts, which typically means a balanced opener, but RHO was a passed hand), but I’d have no convenient bid and partner, looking at three hearts, would not dream of doubling (although perhaps might gamble four spades, which would fail).

So — A nice try by opener.

Full hand on BBO (at least for a few days).


Written by taogaming

June 2, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Posted in Bridge

2 Responses

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  1. Beer!


    June 3, 2016 at 4:01 pm

  2. Aiee! I foolishly released the D7 early! A defensive beer for 2300 would be a story. And a hell of a beer.


    June 3, 2016 at 8:00 pm

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