Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Craig Zastera
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
As it turns out—-no.
This hand was given to me by a friend from the Sunday Swiss Teams at the recent Seattle regional.

I'll admit that I chose 4S as did most here on BWs.

My friend informed me (gleefully?) that
“4 spades is an unfortunate choice.
Your RHO has AQ109x .
my pard bid 4 hearts, and the opponents phantomed
in 5d for -500.
My hand Void QJ98xx KQTx Kxx.”

Of course, I protested that his hand wasn't much of a 3H
overcall, and that I thought the actual lay-out was way against the odds (“overcaller will almost always have
at least a stiff spade honor, usually more length”).

But the fact remains that 4S does carry the risk of a huge disaster (as would have been the case on the actual deal),
whereas 4H, while perhaps often not being the optimal spot, will at least always be a *playable* strain.

Food for thought?
Sept. 1, 2016
Craig Zastera edited this comment Sept. 1, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I'm not sure why you think 5H would be “likely to fetch 5S” from partner. 5H sounds like a virtual demand to bid a slam with a club control. Since partner has a stiff club, I would expect him to bid 6D.
Sept. 1, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
(a) the 3D splinter does not show extras. In fact, extras are a bad thing w.r.t splinter bids–splinter bids should generally be limited as they turn control over to partner.
This is not a criticism of the splinter on the actual hand–I think it is OK, but would also splinter with
AKxxx-xxx-x-AJTx.

(b) a splinter is a strong statement about strain (here, clubs). Is it possible to play in another (non-NT) strain after a splinter raise? Maybe, with appropriate agreements.
I think that if responder goes back to opener's suit directly over the splinter (e.g. 1S-2C-3D-3S), that is a statement that responder always intended to play in spades, and still is interested in that even after the splinter.
A return to spades 3S such as this should definitely guarantee *at least 3* spades, hence is inappropriate for the actual West hand.
Aug. 31, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Why wouldn't I bid 2H now? Describes my strength (still game potential), my shape, my honor location, my worry about one of the black suits.
Aug. 31, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
There are interesting questions here, like what would be the difference between bidding 5H now vs. passing (forcing) and then pulling partner's double to 5H?
Of course, if we pass first (trying to send some fancy message), and partner bids 5S, we lose our chance to bid 5H.

It seems to me that an immediate 5H sends a pretty clear message that I want to be in slam if partner controls clubs, so that is what I bid, not worrying about FP subtleties.

It might be important to play the slam in *diamonds* when partner has something like:
xxx-AQ-Kxxxxx-Kx
Hopefully, over 5H, partner will bid 5NT with such a hand (to show the guarded club king), and we can convert to 6D (or even 6NT).
Aug. 31, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
(a) 3H serves no useful purpose. Even if you are paranoid enough to worry that opening bidder might not have a control in his own suit (spades), bidding 3H over 3D won't (necessarily) solve that worry because opening bidder's cue-bid in his own primary suit promises two of the three top honors. Hence, his failure to bid 3S over your 3H would not mean that he doesn't hold a spade control.

(b) if 4D (key-card ask) “takes up a lot of room” as you say, then surely the 4NT you recommend “immediately over the splinter” takes up even more room. Further, you apparently don't know what such a leap to 4NT (directly over the 3D splinter) even means, because if you did you would see that it is totally inappropriate for the actual West hand.
Aug. 30, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Sathya,
If East had solid spades (AKQJx), he should already have bid a grand slam directly over the 5D sp. King ask (as I believe he also should have with his actual S:AKQT9 “close enough to solid”).
Aug. 30, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Jeff,
I stated in the original post that the 5D specific king ask guaranteed that the partnership holds all the keycards AND THE CLUB QUEEN, so your example hand is not possible.
Your first example hand (with only 4 clubs) is not a 2C response–I'd simply start with a forcing 1NT.
Aug. 30, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
West would not usually make a 2/1 response in a 4 card suit unless he were very strong (15+ at least).
Aug. 30, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
After a specific king ask and reply, if the reply shows a particular king and does not deny some other king, then asker's non-trump continuation asks about a second king.
Here, the 5S reply to the 5D SKA shows the SK and denies the HK (because the 5H response was skipped over). However, replier could additionally have the DK (stiff). If asker continues with 5NT over 5S, he is asking replier to bid 6D with the diamond King. But that is not safe from asker's perspective because if replier holds AKxxx-xxx-K-AJTx, then 6C is the limit for the hand (6S would have some play, but would not be a good contract).
It is true that with East's actual hand, he would no doubt
reply 6S (if not 7C) to a 5NT continuation because if has to be clear that the undisclosed spade values must be at least as valuable as the DK, but as asker cannot handle a 6D reply, he is forced to sign off in 6C over 5S.
Aug. 30, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
West would be unlikely to make a 2/1 in less than a 5 card suit unless he had spade (3+) support and was planning to set that suit as trump with his second bid.
And certainly he would not continue with an immediate key card ask over the 3D splinter with less than a 5 card suit (he might well have 6).
We play 1NT response to 1M as *forcing*, so can handle balanced hand types up to perhaps as much as a “soft” 15.
Aug. 29, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If playing Namyats, this might be an acceptable 4D opener, but personally I prefer Namyats opening not to have two outside high card controls (hence, I'd open 1S even playing Namyats, but that is a detail for partnership agreement).
Aug. 29, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I'm not sure why it is so important to scrutinize the minutiae of the ACBL Alert regulations du jour on questions like this.
The spirit of bridge ethics is that the opponents are entitled to all relevent information about our agreements and understandings during the auction.
The spirit behind the Alert regulations is to explicitly advise the opponents when a call we make has a meaning different from what they might otherwise assume.
So if your 2D overcall of their 1D (could be short) opening is *natural*, then act ethically by alerting them that they may wish to inquire about the call to avoid possible misinterpretation.
Simple.
Aug. 29, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
This hand has way too much slam potential to bid 3NT.
Give partner a (likely): Ax-KJxx-AQxxx-xx
and 6D is excellent.
Giving up with 3NT here instead of probing for a very possible diamond slam (and without even going beyond 3NT) is definitely not the way to win a bracket I K/O event!
Aug. 28, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
This depends somewhat on agreements.
Some play that partner's single raise (here, to 2S) in competition merely confirms *four* card support (he might have doubled with only 3) and “sound minimum” values.
With such an agreement, his jump raise to 3S is merely “game invitational.” With those agreements, this responding hand isn't much and probably should pass 3S (particularly playing matchpoints). Playing this way, if West had a huge hand (e.g. needing just 1 useful card from partner), he would either have to cue-bid 3H or else just gamble a jump to 4S.

But others play that doubler's raise to 2S (even in comp) shows extras (say, 16 support points at least) just as it would without the competition. In that context, the jump to 3S begs advancer to bid game with “anything useful.”
So with those agreements, this East hand should surely raise to game since he has a 4 card suit (he might have been forced to respond in a 3 bagger), an *ace*, and a potentially useful doubleton.
Aug. 22, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I don't think the weak NT is too relevent here (but then, I don't play weak NT if I don't have to, so I'm not an expert in the inferences that follow from that convention).

In my view, the 3 level negative double by South must show at least about 10 “points” (playing points) to be sane. Thus, in my view, South has pretty much a minimum for his negative double.

On the other hand, north's hand is worth *at least* 15 “playing points” in support of hearts. I arrive at that figure after *completely discounting* the SQ. That still leaves 12 working HCPs plus “3” for the stiff club.
And even that is an underestimate because of North's powerful 5 card diamond suit (if the king is missing, it is probably onside, making the holding perhaps as good as D:AKxxx).

Thus, it seem clear to me (particularly playing IMPs), that North ought to do the courageous thing and jump to 4H rather than waiting for his partner to bid his meager 9 HCP values (with no extra shape) a second time by raising 3H to 4H.

I thought I was being generous (to North) by voting for “mostly North's fault” rather than “100% North's fault” which is probably closer to what I actually think.
Aug. 22, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
As I mentioned in related post, I would *prefer* to pass this hand, but then likely there would be no one at all that would be willing to play with me. I now live with approximately this rule for opening balanced hands:
* HCPs + QTs + (sum of lengths of 2 longest suits) >= 23
then I always open

* if sum is >= 22 with no “weak quacks”, I open
(Jx(x) and Qx are “weak quacks”)

I would like to add the rule “at least two QTs” as I believe an opening bid is supposed to have a minimum defensive trick requirement as well.

The hand in question counts to 13 + 1.5 + 8 = 22.5
putting it in my “borderline” range. It has fewer than
two QTs (1.5) and the D:QJ should qualify as a “weak quack”
holding (although this does produce a stopper opposite Txx which typical “weak quack” holdings of Jx(x) or Qx do not).

The “suggestion of 22” type guidelines are deficient in that they do not consider spot cards. A couple of tens in combination with higher honor(s) are a significant asset which are ignored by this formula.
But the given hand has no useful spots.

Thus, in my view, this hand falls just short of a comfortable minimum opener, due primarily to its QT deficiency, and secondarily because of the weak diamond holding.

But, I open it anyway because I am a slave to public opinion.

If the diamond holding were changed from D:QJ to D:K2, then the hand would be a comfortable opener.
Aug. 22, 2016
Craig Zastera edited this comment Aug. 22, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If you skip over 2H in order to rebid 2S, and then later bid hearts (e.g. 3H), that would not show a four card heart suit–it would simply suggest heart values and inability to bid NT, e.g. 1S-2D-2S-3D-3H might be bid with something
like AQJxx-AKx-xx-xxx
Aug. 21, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Very refreshing to hear someone suggest that this hand is not worth an opening bid. I used to think that way too, but the pressure of mass public opinion has crushed my spirit, so that nowadays I open this garbage, and soon probably won't even remember to feel disgusted.
Aug. 21, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
2H here is automatic. 2S rebid doesn't promise 6 spades and, in fact, denies 4 hearts. Raising diamonds on 9xx is not a consideration.
Aug. 21, 2016
.

Bottom Home Top