Problems from the Escondido Sectional Swiss
All at IMPs, short matches
Today's Panelists: Michael Schreiber, David Weiss, Ed Davis,
Adam Wildavsky, Brian Oxley, John Jones, Barry Rigal, Marshall Miles,
Mike Shuster, Robb Gordon, Floyd McWilliams, Joel Wooldridge, David
Caprera, Bobby Bodenheimer, Mark Bartusek
x x AJ98xxxx Axx
You are dealer.
Obviously, there are two general approaches: preempt or start slow.
The preemptors go for pressure on the opponents, despite the flaws.
As a group, the preemptors agreed on four as the right level.
- 4. At unfavorable vulnerability, this should show about
eight tricks without a running suit. 4 is flawed (too many
suits controlled, multiple potential losers in my suit) but
I think the likelihood of the opponents taking the wrong
action over 4 makes it worthwhile.
- I bid 3NT, showing an un-solid minor. CHO will have a reasonably
accurate picture of my hand, although he won't know about the two aces. At
least I won't have to make any further guesses after my choice. I will sit
if CHO doubles them in anything.
- 3NT, 4, or 4 whatever my 4 level preempt is. I have enough offense
and enough defense to open 1, but with a minimum and 2 major suit
singletons, a preempt seems better tactically. 5 might be a decent
call at other vulnerabilities, but is too much at Red v White. Thus,
Iíll try whatever my 4 level preempt is: 3NT if playing Namyats (has
the added benefit of allowing CHO to pass occasionally, 4 if playing
transfers (Lazard has been recommending these), and 4 otherwise. If
I have no 4 level preempt available, Iíll settle for 3.
- 4 (3NT if playing Namyats)... I certainly don't want to give the
opponents a free run with 1-1 in the majors. Sure I have a little too
much defense (would anyone really object to 4 if the Club Ace were the
King?), but I foresee bidding difficulties after the bidding takes off
whether I open 1 or Pass initially. Finally, opening 5 seems suicidal
at unfavorable vulnerability.
- 3. I don't like having 2 aces, but this seems right on balance.
- 5. When given the choice, I pick the action call.
The 1 openers are not willing to try the flawed preempt.
- 1. 3NT may too easily be our game; two aces makes it wrong
to preempt and I WON'T pass. How can I describe a good suit and
a good hand that way? [Agreed. I will never have two aces to
preempt opposite an unpassed partner. But 5 might be an exception
at unfavorable. That's a lot to bid. --Jeff]
- 1. 2 quick tricks and an easy rebid. It's the wrong
texture for 5 - the offense-to-defense ratio is a little too
balanced for a 5-level unfavorable preempt. This won't be
unanimous, but it should be.
- 1. If I switched my reds, 4 would be much more tempting. With
several of my partners, 4 isn't even natural but shows spades and a
- 1. With 9 points, 2 quick tricks and an 8 card
suit, it seems reasonable to start the bidding
at a low enough level that we can investigate the
hand. I have defense enough to withstand partner's
double of the opponents.
- 1 (same as you)
- I would consider 5 if not vul. I open 1.
- 1. Obviously there are choices to be made.
However, pass is not among them. I plan to rebid my suit.
- JEFF AT THE TABLE
- 1. Good offense, good defense. But no pressure.
- WINNING ACTION
- Probably a 5 opening. The whole hand was roughly
Any lower number of diamonds will likely get them to 4
PDQ. I don't know if LHO should bid over a 5 opening.
I don't know if I would.
I was considering not including this
problem, but the diversity of opinion on it justified its
inclusion after the fact.
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
- I don't know. I don't like two aces
for a preempt. 5, however, red on white, ... the real
issue with that call is that it can easily go for 800 against
a game. They aren't making more than game unless someone
has a diamond void, so I need to make 10 or more tricks to
make 5 a good shot. Could happen. Might not. The problem
with 1 is that I'm 1-1 in the majors. There's just no good
answer, thus the roughly 50/50 split.
- both vul
Qxx AK10x QJ Q108x
You|| LHO|| CHO|| RHO|
1|| 2*|| Dbl*||2|
2 was the majors.
Dbl was reverse "I have a secret." It
promises a balanced hand roughly 10+ HCP
without their suits nutted.
I guess this description of the methods was inadequate.
Playing standard "I've Got a Secret" (more on that later),
pass of 2 followed by double of 2 shows a balanced hand,
10+ HCP, no clear direction. In "Reverse I Have a Secret",
the direct double shows the balanced hand, and pass followed
by a double of 2 is nearly unremovable.
There are two main camps. Camp 1: I have a weak NT. Passing
shows a weak NT, so I have nothing to say, particularly with
this soft crap.
- Pass. Double seems wrong, and no # of NT appeals to me with an iffy
stopper, no trick source and not many quick tricks. If CHO bids 3 or
3NT I will pass. If CHO bids 3, 3 or 3 then I will bid 3NT. That
leaves what to do over double and 2NT. Double should be a dub spade
and sort of action [Wrong. R-O-N-G. Wrong! Partner has shown
defense and they are often in serious deep doo-doo. --Jeff] Iíll pass
but with the knowledge that at IMPs it could go wrong. Whatís 2NT?
Natural? Lebensohl? Some artificial bid (such as TO w/o 2 spades)? TO probably
makes the most sense since the natural 2NT hands would likely double.
Thus, Iíll try 3 over 2NT. This could very well be a problem hand
from both sides of the table, but thatís not because of our "reverse
secret methods" (which I think are fine), but because some competitive
hands donít have easy answers.
- Pass. If partner has a balanced minimum, I can't make 3NT
and I might or might not beat 2. If partner also passes 2,
I'll lead a trump and hope to beat it.
- Pass. Lead trump.
- Pass. I want to hear what partner has to say. 3NT is
the right place, but I want to see of partner can suggest a
useful spade holding.
- Pass. I have a secret, too. A secret belief that we belong
in 2 undoubled.
About half the passers say they don't understand the convention.
I don't see why not, upon reflection. Partner has 10+ HCP balanced.
You are not in a force (balanced 10-counts can't require minimum
openers to reach the 3-level without a fit). Partner doesn't have
a long suit, and doesn't have a stack in one of their suits. This
is exactly the same hand he would have playing normal methods if
the auction had gone
He might have a doubleton spade, but it'll be a high honor doubleton so
that you can hit it with honor third. He might have four spades, but
they won't be AK10x, more like A632. Much of the time, he is 3-3
in the majors. Again, it's the same hand as in the standard auction:
1|| 2|| Pass|| 2|
1|| Dbl|| Pass|| 1|
- I think I have a maximum pass. I'm not familiar with this method,
but I would suppose that if partner has extras he can double again. Then I
will guess to bid 3NT.
- Pass. I don't understand the convention, but see no reason
to act in front of partner. Lead trump.
- I'm not familiar with the method. Does this mean that partner has
three of each major? Then I double. Could he have a doubleton? Then I'm
not sure what to do; if partner is allowed to pass on a min with 2 spades
then I want to pass. If he has to do something, I probably still want to
pass as I assume that he would bid with 2 spades and double with 3.
So put me down for X if partner must have 3 spades, pass if he can have 2.
[I'll guess that's a pass. Partner could have, say,
Ax Kxx Kxxx Qxxxthat'd be a pretty obvious double to me. --Jeff]
- Pass. To be honest, not a method I am familiar with. Is my pass forcing? What
does partner's second double mean? I am passing because a balanced minimum (this hand
is not much better than that) is what I think partner will expect. I assume double by
me would show a better spade holding (or does it show shortness I would like it to
show exactly a doubleton). If partner passes, we didn't miss game. If partner's
second double shows something like honor third, then of course I sit. If partner's
double shows shortness (can he have 0-1 spades?), then I am not sitting and will bid
2NT. My understanding would be that 2NT is scrambling but on this hand, if partner
sits, I'll hope the Q stands up.
- Pass and see what partner has to say. I must admit
I don't understand this convention very well.
A third of the group realizes that after a trump lead,
they are not going to have a lot of tricks.
- Double and lead trump. [Upon hearing the result] Only 800?
This one wasn't hard why did you include it?
- Double and lead trump. Let's see: they probably have only
seven trumps. I have their second suit nutted. Partner normally
has a trump honor, so when I lead trumps, it'll cost them a trump
trick to get a ruff in the short hand, if they can manage that at
all. We have 24+ HCP. They have no tricks. They are getting massacred.
I think this is so far from a close decision, I couldn't
believe it when partner passed.
- double (I admit I was a coward) [Yes, Marshall was CHO
on these hands, but the methods here made that obvious anyway. --Jeff]
- Does "without their suits nutted" mean all minor suit cards? [No, it
means he doesn't have HHxx in one of the majors. --Jeff] I'm assuming
partner could've raised clubs or bid diamonds on the first round more
descriptively with either 4 clubs or 5 diamonds, so with at least 6 cards
in the majors that my partner hopefully has, I'm going to take a chance
and double them. Hell, if I can draw trumps, they're done. [Well-done,
charred, burnt to a crisp, in fact! --Jeff] I hope partner isn't all
minors and leaves this in with a stiff spade.
Barry and Mark hate their soft stuff for defense, so:
- 3NT. All these soft cards. I don't know why but I don't like
my chances on defence. It's only IMPs, right? [Not unreasonable.
The one serious problem I have with the double is that this hand
has no tricks, just soft schmoints. 3NT might make when 2x is
going down only one or two. But there are so many schmoints and
so many trumps that after a couple of tricks, I expect to force
them to be playing 2NT doubled. If we can make 9 tricks in 3NT,
we ought to be able to make at least 8 in 2x. --Jeff]
- 2NT...My initial reaction was to pass and let partner double with Hxx in
spades (despite my horrible minor suit honors for defense). Sure, we can
probably get +500 or +800 in the unlikely event event that partner has Hxx
of spades and dummy has 2-1 in the majors; but, +600 in 3NT will be cold in
that case (unfortunately +200 or even -670 on a trump lead if dummy has
2-1-5-5 with a random Ace and a King in the minors). The problem comes
when partner has Ax in spades and has only a wrong-sided 2NT bid or a 3
preference available if I pass it around to him. I won't like raising 2NT
to 3NT, and I won't know to bid 3NT over his 3 preference. Thus, it seems
to me that 2NT catering to a 3NT raise by partner with something like Ax xxx K10xxx Axx
is the percentage call. [I'd bid diamonds somehow with
that hand. If I were playing normal methods, I wouldn't be willing
to pass and double 2 later with it, so I can't double now. Not that
we won't be butchering them in 2x, though. Let's see... they'll
take four spades (maybe) and the A, maybe a club trick or maybe
the fifth heart. That's an average of about 5.5 tricks, or +500
to +800. Maybe doubling isn't so wrong! --Jeff]
- WINNING ACTION
- Double and lead trump. I thought this was totally
obvious. Obviously, I was mistaken. At the table, I saw
partner's hand (after we played 2 undoubled) and my jaw dropped.
Since I thought it so obvious to double at the time, I included
my vote for a double. But it looks as if I'm outvoted.
|Pass||5 (understanding the methods)|
|Pass||5 (not understanding the methods)|
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
- I got the actual hand wrong, even
after asking partner, etc. He really had Qxx AK10x Q10 K108x.
That's a little more attractive as a double; I really had
Kxx Qxx K9xx Qxx.
I'm willing to concede that just describing the methods
as I did is insufficient. It's not obvious whether or not
a pass here should be forcing. I think it's obvious; how
else can you play 2 undoubled? But not everyone did. So
some number of the passers were expecting partner to act.
Most of those expected partner to double with as much as
honor-third in spades. Which brings up the question, "what
does partner's second double mean?" I think it means he has
an extra king; some think he must have just the same hand
with reasonable spades, so that he can start with a double
when he has something like xx Axx K10xxx Kxx. I'd show diamonds
with that hand, but perhaps one gains more by putting all the
balanced hands into the double and sorting things out later.
That means you can't play 2 unhit, but that's not the end
of the world. What followups are and what alternatives opener
has are not obvious, either. Is his immediate 2NT good/bad?
Is an immediate suit bid forcing? (I think it has to be, but
it wouldn't surprise me if partner passed thinking differently.)
How does a delayed 2NT differ from an immediate 2NT? There's
more theory to this than meets the eye. Marshall, please answer
As far as the actual choice, however, I still think the panel
got this one wrong. Double and lead trump is such an obvious win
on this board that I don't see why anyone wouldn't do it. You
just know they are getting massacred. If RHO were supersound
and was more likely to have 6-5 than 5-5, perhaps passing is
safer. I see a lot more 5-4s than 6-5s perpetrating Michaels,
though, so I'm a hawk. Several panelists said, "if I knew
more about the methods, I'd change my call" in later communication.
(Mark Bartusek also suggested that in the given auction, dummy
almost certainly can't be 6-5 or 5-6 as declarer would have bid
differently. That'd make it even safer to double.)
About that "I Have a Secret." Ed Manfield published an
article in the Bridge World called "I've Got a Secret" in
which he describes what have become "standard" methods in
auctions like this (though he focussed on 1x-(Dbl)-?).
Double shows interest in crushing them and pass followed
by a double shows a good balanced hand with no clear
direction. I called the article "I Have a Secret" for
two reasons. One is that the original name is simply a
grammatical error. The other is that I have a new name for
the reversed methods: "I Have a Secret...From Partner!"
Lynn Johannesen (once Mrs. Ed Manfield) adds:
"'I've Got a Secret' wasn't exactly a grammatical error: it was an
allusion to a once popular television show of the same name. No doubt Jeff
(and most of the panelists on this list) are too young to remember the show.
It revolved around a contestant who announced, 'My name is XXX XXXXX, and
I've got a secret!' The contestants had to guess the secret to earn large
money prizes. Eddie intended to imply that people who learned his secret
would reap substantial rewards." [She's right, in a sense. I had
never heard of the show. But I don't watch TV even today. --Jeff]
- none vul
AQ x K10xxxx AKxx
CHO|| RHO|| You|| LHO|
1|| 2|| ?|
What's your plan? If you bid 3, partner
bids 3NT. If you bid 3, partner bids 3NT.
What then? What do you bid over his likely
The first two bids were obvious, I guess. Everyone bid
3 then 4. Except me at the table. I bid 3 then 4.
That was bad; it cost me a useful step. I was thinking
that if LHO bid 4 or 5, I'd be poorly placed, but that
seems like undue caution. Everyone else heard partner fail
to cue 4, which helps a bit. No one chose a fitted 4.
The real problem was to pass 5 or bid 6 when the auction went
The panel is split, but most choose to pass.
Most think it's close, even extremely close.
1 (2)|| 3|
- I bid 3, and over 3NT bid 4. I'm going to try and engage in a
cue-bidding auction. If he bids 4NT over 4, I'm giving up. If he bids
4, I'll bid 4, and then I need to know methods. If 4NT by him over
that bid is stronger than bidding 5 of a minor, then I'll sign off when
he bids 5, but bid on over 5. Certainly if he shows extras with 5NT,
I'll bid on (with 5NT, pick a slam). Without advanced methods, I'll
drive to slam over 4. If he bids 4, I'll bid 4 and then drive to
slam. If he raises 4 to 5, I'll not be happy...think for a long time,
and pass with a long sigh. Then when partner shows up with the diamond
ace, blame him for not bidding 4.
- 3, then 4. Over 5, too close to call. Partner could
have signed off in 4NT with a terrible hand for suit play,
so he should have a red ace. He didn't cue, though, so he
must not like his hand. That's OK, I like mine. State of the
match considerations would affect my decision. I suspect slam
has play but that it will go down if diamonds don't break, 50-50
with the preempt. I'll pass. I can construct a hand where
we're off two aces: KJxx KQx x QJxxx.
- 3, then 4 over his rebid (including his 3NT). This is a good slam
hand, and even bailing out in a sad 5 or 5 contract can't be too bad.
If I make an immediate support bid in clubs with 3, 4 over 3NT isn't
showing an alternative trump suit. Over 5, I'll pass with uncertain
feelings. He is all but obligated to cuebid on the way to 5 with
anything but dreck as my sequence is so strong, so we ought to be
missing two aces. If he turns up with one, we have something to
discuss over the Chinese food afterwards.
- 3. 3 seems wrong to me, my clubs arenít good enough. If I really
thought my clubs were that good I would bid 4 (splinter).
Thus, 3 will be my first bid. I will follow up with 4 (forcing
obviously) over pardsí 3NT. The real decisions come after that.
If pard rebids 4NT, I will pass, catering to KJx KJxx Qxx QJx. If
pard bids 5, I will pass catering to KJx Kxx Qx QJxxx. If pard
rebids 4 I will bid 5NT (pick a slam) catering to KJxx Axx Qx QJxx
(pard picks 6) or KJxx Axx QJ Qxxx (pard picks 6). If pard bids 4
I will cue 4, hoping that pard has Kxx Axx Ax QJxxx and hope that we
get to a making grand.
- 3. 4 over 3NT. Over 5, I pass. If MP, ugh... 6. Partner
would probably bid 5 with KJxx Kxx Q QJxxx and with
Jx AKxx Qx Qxxxx, so this is pretty much of a guess. However, some
pairs may get to play 3NT making more than nine tricks so I'm not
going to pass 5 at MP.
- 3. I plan to bid 4 over 3NT and give up in 4NT if he
bids that. If he bids 4 I'll bid 5NT and let him pick. If he
bids 5 I'll pass.
- 3. If partner bids 3NT, bid 4. Pass if he bids 5 or 4NT.
I'm not sure I would have had the discipline to do that, but I think
that is right. [Odd. I have the discipline, but I don't know if
it's right! --Jeff]
- I bid 3 then pull 3NT to 4.
Followups: Over 4 or 4 I ask aces. I pass 4NT or 5.
- 3 and over 3NT, I bid 4. If partner bids 4NT/4 I will quit but
otherwise will push to slam.
- 3. Over 3NT, 4. Pass 5.
- I prefer 3 showing my suit as soon as possible rather
than a relatively uninformative cue bid. After 3-3NT; 4-?:
4 4 diamonds is agreed
4 4 clubs is agreed
4NT <- RKCB for clubs
A few bid 6 over 5, including me at the table.
- I bid 3, hoping the opponents will shut up. Since partner seems to
have hearts, I understand their silence. Over 3NT, I bid 4. If he then
bids 4, I will try KCB (for clubs, the first agreed suit when the ranks
are equal). If instead he bids 4, I will try KCB (for clubs, the only
agreed suit). If he bids 5 of either minor, I'll raise one level. The only
bid he can make that will divert me over 4 is 4NT. I'll pass that.
- 3 then 4. If he persists with 4NT, I let him go. If he
bids 4, then 4, then if he can't Blackwood I'll give up on seven.
[Over 5,] 6. He has a good hand for clubs, otherwise I'd hear 4NT.
- I bid 3, then 4, then ask for aces over 4 or 4,
and investigate for a grand if appropriate. I bid 5 over
4, and 6 over 5.
- 3 followed by 4...Seems clear to bid your hand normally. If partner
rebids 4NT I will Pass. 4 or 4 by partner will cause me to cuebid 4
trying for a grand. 5 will get 6 from me based upon partner's presumed
distribution and likely Ace of diamonds. I will also bid 6 over partner's
4. One lesson to the hand is that a 4NT rebid by me will often be taken as
natural and non-forcing by partner since 3NT to play was voluntarily bid
earlier in the auction.
- JEFF AT THE TABLE
- 3, then 4, then over 5, I raised.
- WINNING ACTION
- after you show your suits, pass 5.
- Just about everyone bid 3, then 4.
I shouldn't've included that as part of the problem,
but I actually reversed the two, so there'd've been
lots of complaints.
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
- I agree with the panel. 3 first,
then 4, then pass 5. I'm surprised no one considered
a fit bid of 4 the first time.
9xx 9xx AQJ10987
RHO|| You|| LHO|| CHO|
Pass||3|| 3|| 4|
Most bid 5 as a two-way shot, mostly as a lead-director
against 5x and partly as a slam try. They are worried
it might go all pass...possibly justifiably so given the
- 5; lead directing; I'd bid 4NT to offer a choice of five-level
contracts without the void. Am I going to 6-level not sure!
[Nope. You are getting doubled here. --Jeff]
- 5...I don't know if it is our hand or the opponents'. This hand is
certainly worth a cuebid in case partner is interested in slam; while
attracting a club lead from partner is mandatory if the opponents buy the
- 5. Then double 5.
- I would not have opened 3 in second seat at this vulnerability, as
the hand is both too strong and too suitable for play in a major. It's not
the worst opening in the world, but it's far removed from what I think is a
playable approach to preempting.
So I'll have to pretend that I was called in to replace the guy who
was deservedly struck by lightning after he put his stop card back in the
box. The auction seems to have come up much better than we deserve. Even
if partner is screwing around, always a possibility at favorable, I have a
great hand. I will try 5, which should get me a club lead if the opponents
press on to 6. I will not defend five spades unless CHO pounds it.
- 5. First, I am bidding. Partner's bid allows me to compete. Second, I want a
club lead against 5. If it goes 5-P-P-P, I probably won't make. Else I bid 5 and
pass (no, I don't think I need to double) 5.
- 5. I hope it doesn't go all pass in 5. I'll hit 5.
- 5. My hand could be better in support of hearts, but not by much.
The 5 bidders, however, realized that they didn't need to
bid 5 as a lead-director. Once we bid diamonds and hearts
and double spades, it should be pretty obvious that we don't
have any clubs. Joel and Robb realized that they could do
a little better and bid 4NT, choice of red suits, which makes
it even more clear that we have no clubs as we can't have
any other real source of defense if we have good offense
in two suits.
- This is very interesting. If I could be sure that 5 was lead
directional and not natural, I'd bid that 100%. However, I also believe
it could be mininterpreted, and that if I bid 5, and they compete to 5,
when I double that is clearly Lightner. So, for that reason I'm bidding
5, and then doubling 5 for the club lead.
4NT is better still. This should be 2 places to play, and since
if partner bids clubs, I'm bidding diamonds, it'll be clear that I have
very good diamonds with weakish hearts. I don't want to get to hearts
if partner has long weak clubs and a diamond fit (or so I think).
- JEFF AT THE TABLE
- 5. Then I sawed off 5. Sticks and wheels.
- 4NT. I am too nervous to bid 5, even though
I think it should be a cuebid. 4NT, correcting clubs
to diamonds should at least describe my suit holdings.
- 5. I have support and partner shouldn't be disappointed.
- 5. Please 4 be natural. [Brian must've played with
Marshall before! --Jeff]
- 4NT. I've changed my mind. If I double, partner will mistakenly
think I have a heart void and fail to continue with an appropriate holding.
5 vs 5 is a toughie... 5 would be natural but surely 4NT isn't.
- 6. If CHO isnít fooling around, we have a monster hand for her/him.
If CHO sort of has a 4 bid then it may be the opps hand and I need to
get CHO to give me my club ruff on stroke. 6 make it clear that I
have a heart fit and I am not prempting on a 2 suiter and then bidding
again w/o a fit for pardís suit (itís not my style to preempt on 2
suiters and bid again anyway). I should definitely want a club lead
against spades I could have bid 5NT otherwise. 5 is my 2nd choice
of bids, even if it were my style to preempt 2 suiters and bid again
(I can always redouble or run when doubled).
- WINNING ACTION
- Double. Or bid 5. Or bid 4NT. Don't bid 5,
alerting everyone to what will happen to 5. Partner was out
there with x KJxxxx x KJ109x. Then again, 4 is cold, +420,
which is par on the hand, so he's done the right thing. Both
club honors were in dummy, so you start at 800 vs. 4. If you
can get a club lead. I don't think you will. Still, you'll
get it 200 or 500 after a diamond lead. If declarer is really
clever (or maybe double-dummy), after you ask for a club shift
when giving partner his diamond ruff, he can duck it, let you ruff
the second club, and then squeeze partner in clubs and hearts,
getting out for -200. In real life, you'll get 500. The whole hand was
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
- I don't like 5. With everyone
bidding here, a slam seems really unlikely. Yes, partner
could have x AKQxxxx Kx xxx. Yes, they might save. But who
cares? My goal is to play 5x with a club lead. They are
vulnerable. Next time, I think I'd prefer 4NT if I want to
be technical. Tactically, I think 5 is more likely to garner
a 5 bid, which is what I really want to hear. I think the
double of 5 after bidding 5 is less clearly demanding a
club lead than it is after 4NT. Since my goal is to get them
into 5x with a club lead, it's a toss-up. If they don't
bid 5, 4NT will get us to a better contract some of the time,
so maybe it's better than 5. 5 is much more likely to
prevent them from bidding 5, so I reject it on tactical grounds.
Axx 109x KQJ107 xx
You|| LHO|| CHO|| RHO|
Two obvious camps: 1 (what's the problem?) and 2.
- How can it be wrong to bid 1? True, I am not a favorite to buy the
hand after a fourth-seat opener; but I'd really like a diamond lead against
anything. Partner can't bury me, and I'm willing to risk 1x as a final
- 1. It is hard to believe that something other than 1 will
lead to the best results for our side.
- 1. If this wasn't a bidding "contest" (hey Jeff, I am
still waiting for the prize money from the last go around),
[You didn't get it right! No one did. --Jeff]
I would expect this to be the unanimous choice. [Chuckle. --Jeff]
It has to be in here either because (i) it went for 500 or 800,
(ii) it talked the opponents out of the normal 3N and into a
making Moysian, (iii) take-out double worked better when partner
had the majors but no way to show them, or (iv) someone holding
this hand bid something other than 1, it worked out disastrously
and you are looking to see whether anyone else found the "clever call".
- 1...With any other vulnerability at IMPs I would toss out the 2 card
(Jeff's probable action!) quickly to disrupt the opponents bidding. 2 at
unfavorable is a little scary, especially when partner might have a 5-card
major he deemed inappropriate to bid in 3rd seat at these colors. I totally
reject a double because I clearly want a diamond lead from partner against
any contract LHO ends up playing. A 1 bid also leaves me the opportunity
to re-open with a double showing major suit support if the auction requires
it. Additionally, a diamond bid instead of a double gives less information
to the opponents when they are likely to buy the hand.
- ADAM, MARSHALL, MICHAEL, FLOYD
- 1. The only reason I am bidding is for a
lead, so double is out of the question.
- 1. My 2 bids look like this with a sixth diamond
closer to intermediate than weak. Yes I'd like to preempt but
no I won't do it I have a partner I have to respect.
[Partner is a passed hand. How much respect does he need?
And he just bid 4 on the last hand!!! --Jeff]
- 1. Seems straightforward to bid the suit I want led.
- 1. I want partner to have room to bid a major if we should be
competing there instead. Does 2 work out better?
The 2 bidders see a free chance to put pressure on the
opponents...not real free this time, though.
- 2. From a tactical viewpoint, I love this hand!!! There are 2
things to consider: 1) I need to get CHO off to a lead, 2) I need to
give LHO as difficult a time as possible. Taking away the 1 level
seems clearly right. Could I go for too much? Yes, but for me to go
for -800 they 1) have to catch me and that isnít always easy w/o
secondary trumps, and 2) even if they do they might make +920. Going
for -500 against a game is a more likely loss, but at IMPs thatís no
big deal (max of 3 IMPs lost).
I have a grudging respect for anyone with enough daring to try 3,
but at these colors Iíll hold back, knowing that 2 does some damage
anyway. In my partnerships where 2 isnít natural at these colors
(Roman or intermediate), Iíd choose between 1 and 3.
- 2. We don't have game, I have double-proof-spots and
this bid puts tremendous pressure on the negative double by
responder. I wouldn't be surprised to buy it in 2, since
they might be 3-3... if so, we are probably +90 with their
having +110 or +140 available in the correct strain. Of
course, our teammates will be in 4M -2 and I'll lose 3 IMPs,
but them's the breaks. [We'll never buy it in 2. RHO didn't
open 1 in 4th chair to sell to 2. He'll just sit there for
two minutes and double 2 for takeout offshape. --Jeff]
- 2Automatic for me If they double me, oh well.
- JEFF AT THE TABLE
- 2. I luckily got out for only 500
when they didn't realize I had only five trumps.
- WINNING ACTION
- Pass, I suppose. There really isn't one.
1 led to -500. 2 led to -500 when the defense wasn't
perfect (go teammates!) though they did have a harder
time not knowing how many trumps I had. Pass would lead to
-400 in 3NT making. RHO had 2056 and would pass a negative double
at any level.
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
- I'm unrepentant. Gene Simpson says
it's right to bid 2 in their auctions whenever you reasonably
can; their negative doubles and support doubles prevent your
going for large numbers and make it very hard for them to
find major suit fits sometimes. (1)-(1)-2 can easily
blow away the heart suit. I've seen him bid 2 there on
nothing but whim. It worked out, too. Here, if they only
have one major suit fit, it might be very tough for them to
find it. 1 doesn't do anything but direct a lead. We aren't
buying this hand (RHO is likely to have 18 balanced) so let's
try to do some damage. Our chances of playing 2 whacked
seemed tiny. Wrong!
Jeff Goldsmith, email@example.com, Jan 30, 2003