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We've all heard the old adage, that when having extreme distribution, we should not worry too much about HCP. This has proven very true for me recently, but in a competitive context. Each hand involved a possible fit-jump during the auction. Playing with different partners, sometimes I had the option available, sometimes not. If you're after an interesting declarer play problem, this thread isn't for you though.

You are South, and play 2/1.

Hand 1.

MPs. Reasonable pd (me). Bad field.

Unfavorable 3rd seat.

You hold:

QTxxx x x T98xxx

Partner deals and opens 1, and you have a decision after

1 - (1) - ?

Pass? 1? 2? 3? 4? Who's to know. I think bidding spades when they bid hearts is always a good idea, so I would have chosen 1.

You play weak jump shifts. But if playing fitted, an option of doubtful-sanity might be 2 or even 3. You know the opponents are bidding hearts with enough values for game (even opposite 18-19 balanced) and you desperately don't want to defend, if at all possible. So you're a couple of aces short for a 3 bid ... how bad can it be (possibly very)?

At the table the auction does not go to your liking.

1 - (1) - 3 - (4)

DBL - (P) - ?

Do you pull?

I think it's clear to bid 4 here, but I've been shouted down before. You certainly regret not bidding 1.

If you sit, what do you lead? A spade lead keeps it to -690. Any other lead scores -890. In practice you are likely to make 5.

The full hand:

West
xx
AJxxx
Q10xx
QJ
North
AK9x
Qx
Kx
AKxxx
East
Jx
Kxxxx
AJxxxx
South
Q10xxx
x
x
1098xxx
W
N
E
S
1
1
3
4
X
P
P
P
D
4X East
NS: 0 EW: 0

As dummy was coming down, declarer got a curious look on his face and said, querulously, "Doubled?"

Hand 2.

IMPs. Ok pd. Ok opponents. 

Favorable 3rd seat. 

You (I) hold:

xx x K9xx AJxxxx

Partner deals and bids 1. The auction starts innocuously enough:

1 - DBL - ?

Well if I was playing fitted jumps in competition, this looks like a clear 3 (4? with 10 cards, but it could be our 3NT hand) bid. Of course, you don't play fitted jumps, but instead WJS. You consider 2, but have not discussed whether this is forcing in competition (it's not of course). You take choice #3 and raise partner.

1 - DBL - 2 - (4)

P - (4) - ?

Well you sure want to bid 5. Sounds like a confident auction by the opponents. I regretted not doing so later, but having not bid 2 earlier, I rolled over and died.

I led a , and was not delighted by how the hand turned out. -620 happened to be a push, but could have been a double game swing.

The hand was:

West
J109xxx
KJ10xx
xx
North
x
Axx
AQxxx
K10xx
East
AKQx
Qxxx
Jx
Qxx
South
xx
x
K9xx
AJxxxx
W
N
E
S
1
X
2
4
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 East
NS: 0 EW: 0

For sure, this was a very pure hand, but I should have listened to the auction more, and believed the vulnerable 4 bid. There's a lot of bidding at the table for a 40-pt deck. Leftie, the big-leaper, is sure to have a big Major suit double fit. I think both N and S need to act over 4. Pass was not good.

But 2, or a fit-jump would have ensured we were not defending.

Hand 3.

Finally a hand we got right, although it was still scary.

BBO game with friends. Good pd, reasonable ops.

4th seat. All red.

You hold:

J98xx x KQTxxx x

Declarer deals and passes. The auction to you:

(P) - 1 - (1) - ?

Your 1 shows 4+ if unbalanced, and 5332 shape is the only possible weak NT (even there, you have the option of opening 1). You have a fit. Thankfully, this time, you play fitted jumps. This may not be to your taste, but I think 3 is standout. Again, your 11-cards in 2-suits (and you have at least a 10 card fit) screams to play this on offense. Moreover, partner is a good player and understands your (my) style.

You bid 3, and the auction proceeds:

(P) - 1 - (1) 3

(4) - DBL - (P) - ?

Well this has taken an unexpected turn. This double sounds awfully like a cuebid for , or is it showing clubs. Who knows. Bidding 5 here is likely to be right, but there's a chance 4 may be the last making spot. I compromised and bid 4 waiting. The auction was far from over.

(P) - 1 - (1) 3

(4) - DBL - (P) - 4

(4) - 4 - (5) - P??

(5) - DBL - (P) - ?

Of course the 4 bidder has hearts. This is granted. I chose to pass 5 feeling I'd done enough bidding on my hand (I showed my spades, and a preference for diamonds over partner's double).

I've shown no defense and had to sit for the double.

Your lead?

100% clear to lead a club. Partner doubled 4 for a reason. to the Ace, ruff, and you get a spade trick. Pretty close though. The hand is:

West
Qxx
K10xxxx
1098x
North
K10
x
AJxxxx
AJxx
East
Axx
AQJxx
x
KQxx
South
J98xx
x
KQ10xxx
x
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
1
3
4
X
P
4
4
4
5
P
5
X
P
P
P
D
5X East
NS: 0 EW: 0

I'm not so fond of the 4 bid -- as a fit-by-passed-hand, this doesn't help partner evaluate well. But it worked out well when overcaller took the push to the 5 level. 4 and 5 are makeable as the cards lie, on the hook.

As a reward to getting to this point, what do you think of partner's calls? The double of 4, the 4 bid, and the eventual double of 5? Interesting, no doubt.

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