Monday, February 8, 2010

Slam Fun

Playing IMPS with an unfamiliar partner, you pick up the following hand with everyone Vul, AK73 J82 KQT75 K, hear partner open 1D and get a 1H overcall on your right. You start with a negative double, and it goes 3H (Preemptive) on your left, P, P back to you, now what?

Partner should be short in Hearts, you want to find out if he has 2 Aces and at most 1 Heart, whereupon you will likely try a slam, hoping the Spades sort themselves out for no losers. But how do you force partner to cue-bid Hearts if he can?

I think the best way to go about that is to bid 3S here, and over partners assumed (hopeful) 4C bid, bid 4D, which has to be forcing on this auction. If partner has anything including a shortness in Hearts, this should get a 4H cue-bid. In practice, this is exactly what will happen, partner will bid 4H over 4D, and when you check, you will find you are off 1 Ace, so will settle in the easy 6D contract.

At the table, this person cue-bid 4H with the 3 small. And then over partners 5C bid, bid 5D, which ended the auction and cost 12 IMPS. Partners hand was xx x AJxxx AQTxx. Looking at 2 small Spades, should this hand expect both major Aces, good Diamonds, and the K of Clubs (or the actual hand) for the 4H call and bid 6D?

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Had another funny hand from a practice teams match we had SUN. With no one vul, you hold 973 --- Q8632 K7543. Partner of course opens 1H and it goes P on your left. You decide to get cute and bid 1S, hoping partner will bid 2 of a minor and you can pass. Of course, partner, not being in on the joke, responds with the response you did not want to hear, 4NT, KeyCard in Spades, sigh.

4N does not sound like a good place to play this, and partner will not have a sense of humor over a pass, so you bid 5D, showing not too many KC’s. Partner now settles you gracefully in 6S (!) and the opening lead is a small Spade, this just keeps getting better.

At least partner puts down an OK dummy for you, AKQ65 AKJ873 3 A. You win the first Spade with the A as RHO contributes a small Spade, and ruff a Heart to your hand, all following. Club to the A, followed by another Heart ruff, again all following. Pitch the Diamond on the K of Clubs, ruff a Diamond back to board, pull trumps with the KQ of Spades, they were 3-2, and give up 1 Heart, they were 5-2, making an easy 6 Spades. Turns out the only way to beat 6S was to take the Diamond winner then switch to a Spade, something made harder when you right sided the contract, placing the person with the AK of Diamonds NOT on lead, instead the person with 5 Hearts to the QT was on lead.

At the other table, they also got to 6 Spades, but from the normal side this time. They also got a small Spade lead (!, not the Diamond A), but tried to cash 1 Heart before trying to ruff 2. Now the 5-2 Heart split spelled doom when the third Heart got ruffed high and a Diamond cashed.

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