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Behind The Scenes: Levin-Weinstein Postmortem
Board 56 will probably go down as the most-discussed hand of the 2011 Vanderbilt final. Halfway through the fourth quarter with the match hanging in the balance Bobby and I managed to bid 7 missing the ace of trumps. Imagine my shock when Curtis Cheek, my LHO, led the A at trick one. Before Bobby even put the dummy on the table I said, “Down one and I’m taking a break.”

The incredible thing about this result is that our team actually managed to win 2 IMPs when the other table reached 7-X! Bobby and I have exchanged a few emails about our auction, which we’ve decided to publish for the BridgeWinners community.  {Editor's note: The following contains language that you may find graphic or offensive.  We have decided to publish these e-mails mostly in their original form so that our readership would get a true 'inside look' into how a top-flight partnership resolves a catastrophic misunderstanding.}

Cheek
10964
J62
A2
9854
Levin
AKQ75
K5
J654
A10
Grue
J832
10873
109
J72
Weinstein
AQ94
KQ873
KQ63
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
5
P
5
P
7
P
P
P
D
54
7 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
12 tricks claimed
N/S -50
1


Crazy crakka,

I’d like to share my thoughts with you on 7. Having a 2000-mile drive immediately after the Vandy gave me lots of time to think about our bad boards. So, the first 4 bids of the auction are automatic in our world. Then over 3 I am thinking that 4 is to play and I wanted to bid RKC. But I considered 4NT and was quickly afraid you might think this is quantitative. This of course was my crucial error, since with a quantitative hand and a diamond fit I woulda bid 2NT immediately then Qbid or bid 4 over 3NT to show that hand (but I ruled that bid out too fast and didn’t reconsider it). I didn’t want to bid 3 because I didn’t want you to bid 4 with Jx of spades and a minimum hand cause then it might be ambiguous whether 4NT is keycard for diamonds or spades over this. I was also nervous that if I bid 3 and you jumped to 5 I wouldn’t know what to do. I thought 4 had the best chance of getting you to bid RKC yourself or just bid 4 and let me bid 4 RKC now. So, as JEC {Jimmy Cayne} would say, "original sin" was all me by not bidding 4NT over 3.

However, when I bid 4-- for you to bid RKC and presume I don’t have the ace of spades is wrong. 3 by me is either a Qbid or an offer to play 4 with a good 5-card suit, and the only way you know for sure is if you raise or bid 3NT and I come again. So you can’t assume I do or don’t have the ace of spades. I don’t think you know what to do with your hand if I show all the aces anyway, so I think you have to temporize with 4 and hope I can maybe bid 4NT (heart cue bid) and then you could GSF to find out if I have the ace of diamonds. I think part of your problem in misjudging this is you had Joe Grue WOOD. You were hoping to bid 7 and have Joe double with the spade ace so you could xx his ass. I know in these situations at the bridge table when you get a wild hair up your ass you are right about 90% of the time or maybe more--which suits me well because I get to say you’re a lunatic when you are wrong and pick up wads of cash off the table when you are right. This really suits me.

A long time from now I will forget my actual hand but I will always remember our interaction after this hand. Lucky it was board 8 and we were all taking a smoke break. I walked downstairs with you--we didnt speak--I’m thinking “this $#@!$ blackwood-bidding-with-a-void freak is outta his $#!@$ mind.” We light up and I say to you "I’m a $#@!$ moron, the hand was all my fault" and since I never would say something like that you think I might even mean it. You say "play good and we win" and we go play perfect for the last 8 boards and get lucky and win.

Anxious to hear your take on this hand,
bobby



You fish,
First off I think it was too bad we weren’t vul so we would have won 3 instead of 2 lousy imps.
I think you make a lot of good points on the auction but I don’t see why you wouldn’t just black with 4 over 2. It seems to me you got it. There are a couple hands that you get to a bad slam but you have a huge edge if they double the 4 bid so we can untangle it. So all in all I think way worth it.

Now onto the mess we had. When I bid 3, obv it’s many possible hands and I agree 4 by you would be offer to play. I was thinking that any slam going hand with the ace of spades you would bid 3 first since we don’t bypass, and you wouldn’t have to sweat me jumping to 5 over that cause we clearly play that shows 1 KC when we jump to game there. I never considered the possibility that 4 by me over 3 would muddy the slam-going auction. In my twisted mind I was 100% you didn’t have the ace of spades. You are spot on that I was licking my chops at the prospect of Joe Boo doubling with the spade ace and me redoubling with nutterball. I still think you can bid 3 over 3 cuz the only bad thing you can hear is 4 and over that 4NT to me has to be black in diamonds since it’s the only suit we’ve agreed on. Based on that I really think 4 still denies the ace of spades even though I see that it is the only unambiguous slam move.

All that being said the way you handled our break was as good as it gets. I went from wanting you dead to thinking Levin is the man we gonna kick their ass and I’ll remember that more than the hand, too. (Ok maybe I’ll remember the hand more but it’s close)

Steve


Crakka,
If I have KQJxx,Kx,Axx,xxx I’m bidding 3 like a shot thinking maybe you have Ax of spades and xx or xxx clubs and we might not make 5. You’re missing my point that 3 by me is looking for best game first and if I make another move, like bidding over 3NT or 4, THEN it becomes a Qbid because it announces I wasn’t looking for the right game anymore but was secure in our making 5 and possibly 6. As far as 4NT goes after you raise 3 to 4--by our rules it wouldn’t be double-RKC. So I agree should be black in diamonds but seemed messy--another thing we can be solid on in the future. As I said--shouldn’t have stopped me from bidding 4NT. 4 RKC over 2 has merit but it could so be our 4 hand and go down in 5 that I think there is no reason to hurry and assume we gonna have a bad auction from here. I accept your deepest apology.

bobby


Dude,
I’m not missing your point. I get that 3 starts out as looking for best game but what I’m saying is you will have the control to clarify later. To me when you have slam-going hand don’t bypass, and you’re right I do apologize for wanting you dead... I think just severely maimed would have been more appropriate.

Steve

 

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