Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Bridge

I remember back when the concept of ‘New Math’ was introduced into schools in Canada. It was not revolutionary, just trying to show some new concepts. Now it looks like we have the concept of ‘New Bridge’.

Bob Hamman came up with the Bridge Maxim that if 3NT was a viable option, then you should always bid it. 1 opponent in last nights IMPS match on BBO obviously heard that and has certainly taken it to heart. On the first 3 boards, either he would open 1 of a suit, have his partner make a 1 level response, and jump to 3N, or have his partner open 1 of a suit, and also jump to 3N, with his hand being largely irrelevant to the decision. 1 of the 3 was successful on mis-defence, then this hand came up.

All Vul, you hold AKQ75 T743 --- T832 and hear the auction go 1C by partner, 1D on your right , 1S by you, P on your left, 3N (again) by partner , P to you. Now what? Unfortunately, almost anything can be right here, from passing, to 4S, 4H, 4/5/6 Clubs, dictated by what partner holds in Diamonds. Assuming partner does not have 3 Spades, then I personally like 4C on this hand, as I think it has the best chance of getting you to the most reasonable contract. Partner should have real Clubs on this auction, and the chances of finding 4 Hearts if partner has length (likely) in Diamonds, is a lot lower.

The actual holder of this hand bid 4S, thinking that the 5-2 had to play OK if partner had any values in Clubs, probably not an unreasonable point of view. Unfortunately, partner put down 63 AQJ9 K8 AKJ54 after a small Diamond was led. 4H certainly looks like a good spot, and even 6C is nice looking. It would be nice if partner would get over that 3N concept and bid rationally. Would 2H here show extra values in your system (?). And does partner have enough for that, I sort of think so, and it still right sides the contract.

Anyways, in 4S, declarer put up the K of Diamonds, and it lost to the A, which was ruffed low. Declarer now played a Heart to the Q, losing to the K, and the 9 of Spades came back (nicer for declarer than another Diamond), declarer winning the A. Declarer cashed the K of Spades, hoping to be able to pull most of the trumps and run winners, but RHO pitched a Diamond on this (ouch). Declarer now played a Club to the A and cashed the K of Clubs, but this was ruffed on his left and now another Diamond was returned. When it was all over, declarer was down 3 in 4 Spades, for -300. It turns out, with both the K of Hearts and Q of Clubs offside, 6C can not make, but it is still not a bad contract.

At the other table, they found their Heart fit, but stopped in 4, making for +650, and a big swing our way.

I wish when some people learned something, that they would apply it with some common sense, instead of blindness. This person kept on always bidding 3N at his first or second turn, and it kept turning out badly for them. And it had to be annoying to his partner, who was now being cast as incompetent since his partner never trusted him to play a hand, or to know how to get to the right contract. Made a note to never ever play with this person, and just took our win.

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