Join Bridge Winners
1NT Redoubled - Under Further Review
(Page of 2)

Steve Bloom narratesboard 58 of the 2012 Spingoldfinal and discusses the 1NT XX disaster/triumphin thisspecial guest edition of Under Further Review.

By now I am sure you have heard about the redoubled disaster board near the end of the Spingold finals. If not, then watchJason Feldman's interview with Geir Helgemo. Here is the hand, board 58 of the final:

Helgemo
952
KJ63
108
K854
Weinstein
Q10
10872
AK3
J1092
Helness
K84
A54
76542
A7
Levin
AJ763
Q9
QJ9
Q63
W
N
E
S
1
1
X
XX
P
P
1NT
P
P
X
XX
P
P
P
D
1NTXX West
NS: 0 EW: 0
Q
K
6
5
2
0
1
2
9
10
K
1
1
1
10
4
J
2
3
2
1
A
9
J
8
3
3
1
7
5
8
4
3
4
1
3
6

So many things went wrong here! This should be fertile ground for UFR aficionados for some time. Let's start with the auction. The opening bid was light, but normal, as were the overcall and double. The first debatable action was Weinstein's redouble. This shows a good hand with two spades in their methods, and seems like a slight overstatement, but given the spot cards and the second filler in spades, redouble seems clear to me. There is a lot to be said for grabbing the notrump first. Declarer's advantage is nothing to scoff at. N-S played in 1NT at the other table, and took an easy eight tricks. Taking those tricks on defense proved to be a lot tougher, so bidding 1NT might well be better. Unfortunately, Levin-Weinstein use 1NT as a transfer to clubs, so, if you prefer 1NT, you'll have to blame their system.

Next we come to Helness's pass, and this is the first call really worth putting under further review. I don't understand that call at all! Had Weinstein passed, he would have bid 1NT. What changed? Was he hoping to defend 1S redoubled? To me, the pass either says (1) let's play here, or (2), I have a weak notrump with no spade stopper. Either way, the East hand doesn't qualify. How do you play this pass? Should Helness have passed?

The next odd bid was Helgemo's notrump call. I can't see what else he could do - their side was in trouble, and 1NT undoubled shouldn't be too disastrous. Still, what do you think of 1NT?

Next up for review is Levin's double. He really has a horrible hand. Is it worth a double? I think so, since he does have a 12-count and his partner suggested around 11-12. Still, it is a really bad 12-count.

The next two calls under review must be lumped together - Helgemo's redouble and Helness's pass. Either the redouble was for business, and thus insane, or the redouble was to run and Helness should never have passed. Helgemo claimed that redouble was to run at the table and in the video, but clearly Helness didn't think so.

Okay, judges. Weigh in. One thing is certain - a pair many consider to be the world's best had a stunning mix-up.

On to the defense. Click on the next button to follow the play to its bizarre conclusion. First up for review is the opening lead. Leading a spade seems pretty normal, but it is seldom wrong to lay down an honor holding an A-K. This might blow a tempo, but showing partner where your stuff is must greatly simplify the defense. Should Weinstein have led a high diamond? Hard to say, but, had he led a high diamond, the play would have been over in about thirty seconds, with Nickell scoring 1000.

Next up, should Levin duck the K? I think so, since he had no quick entry, and declarer was a 3-1 favorite to hold the 10, but if partner held the 9 that might gain a trick as well. Not clear what is right...

Levin-Weinstein play suit preference at trick one, with a middle card encouraging. So Levin chose the 6 to encourage a spade continuation. If you agree with ducking, was the 6 the best spot card to play?

Helgemo called for a diamond next and Levin played the nine, not an honor. Why? Was this an error? I say yes. Declarer was a huge favorite to have a 3-4-2-4 distribution on the auction, so splitting could never hurt, and might save a trick if declarer held K10 and guessed, for some strange reason, to insert the ten. Both defenders were pretty sure of the distribution, and they give standard count (but upside down attitude), so perhaps Levin figured that the nine had to be from two honors, and could clarify the holding better than splitting. Judges, what do you think?

Helgemo covered the nine and Weinstein won. Had Weinstein cashed his other diamond, or shifted, say to the 8, the play would have been simple. But he played another spade. Was that best? I think so, since declarer might have a second spade stopper with the jack (or a very unlikely ace). Shifting would be best only if the spades were ready to run. How could he know that? Furthermore, if Levin held AJxxxand a side king, he would let the ten hold, and ask for the appropriate shift. Anyway, your call.

Now Levin had options in the spade suit. He could win the next two tricks with AJ or JA, and then play 3-7 or 7-3. What is best? He held honors in every suit, but with a very strong diamond holding. If there a way to suggest that? Levin opted for JA7. Is that best?

Then we come to Weinstein's discards. After the spade seven, it seems to me that the cards were completely marked. Levin seems to have denied a side king, yet still had enough to double. If his carding emphasized diamonds (did it??), then he must have the hand he held andWeinstein could have ended the hand simply by discarding the A. Am I Monday-Morning Quarterbacking, or ...

Still, there was time to clarify the hand on the fifth spade, but that fifth spade never came. Levin, fearing that he was pseudo-squeezing his partner, shifted to the club without cashing the last spade. I suspect that he placed his partner with a hand like Q10 J8xx KxxKJ10x or Q10 J8xx KxKJ10xx. But it is hard to see what awful things would happen with one more spade. Should Levin have cashed the last spade? Would the defense have survived?

After the club shift, and the earlier heart discard, Helgemo took a spade, two clubs, and four hearts for +760, and that pretty much sealed the match.

Okay, I've listed all the many, many actions that might be worth reviewing. Your turn.

9 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top