Join Bridge Winners
Michael Seamon Junior USBC (Part 3)
(Page of 9)

See these two previous articles for context.

I elected to sit out this set as well, given that we were able to sustain our lead through the high-scoring 3rd set, and thus momentum seemed to be in favor of XIAO

The first swing came on Board 17:

 

North
AJ
A
75
AJ1098652

 

First Seat, None vul.

 

What do you open playing Precision methods?

What do you open playing 2/1 methods?

Suppose playing Precision methods, you eventually decide to open 2:

North
AJ
A
75
AJ1098652
W
N
E
S
2
P
P
X
3
3
P
P
?

 

The auction proceeds as follows.

Do you bid again?

I think this hand is worth at least another bid, with 5 losers only on a rainy day. If partner has one club card or 2 outside cards, 3NT or 5 rate to make. 3 went down one for +50 to XIAO.

At the other table:

West
K752
9862
AQ108
3
North
AJ
A
75
AJ1098652
East
1063
KQJ5
KJ93
74
South
Q984
10743
642
KQ
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
17
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0

3NT made an overtrick, so +9 IMPs to STEPHANI.

A partscore opposite a failing 3NT as well as overtrick IMPs meant that STEPHANI was leading 19-0 in the set after 6 boards.

The next board highlights why kickback agreements are important:

 

West
107
2
K96
QJ107432
North
AKJ652
K98
QJ
65
East
9843
Q10763
1073
A
South
Q
AJ54
A8542
K98
W
N
E
S
P
1
3
X
P
4
P
4
P
5
P
P
P
D
22
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
2
8
Q
A
3
1
0
2
K
J
3
0
1
1
Q
5
A
8
2
1
2
3
4
6
9
0
1
3
10
6
7
9
2
1
4
6
5
9
K
0
1
5
8 tricks claimed
N/S -150
6

 

Once N elected not to bid a direct 3 (I am not sure about their agreements there), it became hard to reach the optimal 3NT.

+460 and +150 gave 12 IMPs to XIAO, their first IMPs of the set.

On Board 23 holding:

 

North
QJ98
AKQ4
64
Q106
W
N
E
S
P
1
?

What is your call, and does it change if 1 is Precision?

West
K105
9
AK1097
9874
North
QJ98
AKQ4
64
Q106
East
A432
J532
J85
KJ
South
76
10876
Q32
A532
W
N
E
S
P
1
1
X
XX
2
X
2
2
P
P
P
D
23
2 North
NS: 0 EW: 0

The 1 overcall prevented East from bidding 1 and landing E/W in 1NT after the more routine double. However, I think the East hand is worth another bid after 2, given that partners shape is always 3154 or even more shapely, since the opponents have bid and raised hearts.

 

2 was able to scrape by for +110, and the other table played in 1NT by East for an overtrick. +6 IMPs to STEPHANI.

A few pushed boards, and the board which could have provided the biggest swing arrived:

 

North
AJ1076
AQ1073
10
84

 

Partner opens 2NT (20-21) and it goes pass to you. How do you plan to bid this hand?

Both Norths elected to transfer to spades and bid 6.

 

North
AJ1076
AQ1073
10
84
South
Q4
96
AKJ8
AKQJ2
W
N
E
S
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
6
P
?

 

Here, both Souths bid the grand directly, but in different strains. 7 and 7NT both failed by a trick when the K was offside.

The reason to bid the grand directly would be if North had a hand like AKJ10x Axxxx xx . If clubs break, or the diamond finesse comes in, you have 13 tricks. Of course, I think it would be reasonable to expect North to have a hand like AKxxxx Axxxxx x or other combinations. Here, given that you hold 18 points in the minors, I think 6NT is plenty, especially since partner can force to grand if his hand is appropriate enough. For example, in the first example hand that I gave for North, flip the majors ( Axxxx AKJ10x x xx) and now even the small slam may have difficulties.

In situations like this, it will be advantageous to have agreements where transferring to hearts then bidding 3 is a slam interest/slam going hand in the majors. This can reserve hands jumping to the 6 level for more extreme hands. 

After a small partscore swing, the next swing came on the penultimate board:

West
K765
J52
KJ1082
6
North
AQJ9
K104
4
KQ1075
East
10842
AQ76
6
J932
South
3
983
AQ9753
A84
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
2
P
P
P
D
2 West
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
2
A
6
3
1
0
3
5
J
2
1
2
0
A
4
3
6
1
3
0
9
10
3
7
3
4
0
4
2
5
3
0
4
1
2
4
Q
8
2
4
2
6
5
10
4
0
4
3
5
10
A
9
2
4
4
9
8
8
10
0
4
5
J
K
6
7
3
5
5
A
J
6 tricks claimed
E/W -200
11

2 just seems dangerous since the 1 opener will either be unbalanced min with clubs or any 15+ hand due to weak notrump. With a scattered 8 count, diamonds may not even be the right strain. Fortunately, this was undoubled and only went down 2. 

At the other table, a routine Precision 2 opener by North was passed out for down 1.

+200 and +100 gave 7 IMPs to STEPHANI, which by this time had closed the gap to just 3 IMPs.

However the last board gave 2 overtrick IMPs to XIAO.

 

The final score was 116-121 in favor of XIAO, who would face XU in the final after their narrow victory over WAN in their semifinal.

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