Thursday, May 6, 2010

Another Forcing Pass

Had another hand with a difficult forcing pass situation last night in the IMPS Game. Vul vs Not, you hold the following hand, xx AKQxxxx Ax xx and open 1H in first seat. This goes 2D by partner (you are playing 2/1 and this is a full forcing 2D, 3D would be a limited hand with Diamonds). This now goes 2S on your right, and you jump to 4H to (hopefully) show solid Hearts. This now goes 4S on your left, P, P back to you.

First, I think this is clearly a forcing pass situation. You were in a game forcing auction where the opps interfered and then bid on over a game bid. Partner then passed the bid over your game, so I think it is a forcing auction. Now, what is your hand worth. Personally, I think you have an absolute maximum with great cards for your previous bidding. You have the 7th Heart, and the A of Diamonds. For this reason, I would bid 5D with this hand. The 2 losers in each black suit are a worry, but what does partner have to make a forcing pass if you have solid Hearts and that A of Diamonds?

At the table, partner doubled with this hand, stating he had a lot of defense. Not sure I agree with that, and I think we had a disagreement mostly about what the forcing pass meant and entailed. I think it strongly suggests bidding on with a hand that is suitable, basically a hand that probably would have bid again without the opponent’s interference. Partner thought it was a hand that was unsure what to do over the opponents bid. The problem with that interpretation is that there is no way to intelligently bid if that is what you have. If you have the agreement that it always shows a willingness to bid on, but requires a fitting hand, then partner can feel free to safely bid whenever these situations come up. With the other agreement, you are basically going to double on every hand, so what is the purpose.

The actual hand is kind of funny, partner held AT T KT98xxx AKJ, a good hand with bad Diamonds and unsure what to do. I passed the 4S doubled, but we lost 1 trick and only got the hand for +500, not the +800 we can get. Declarer was void in Diamonds, so all slams have the 4-0 Diamond break to content with. Turns out the best place to play the hand is 7NT, since my RHO has the Diamonds and the Club Q, so there is an automatic squeeze for trick 13. At the other table, my RHO did not bid 4S, so my hand was able to bid that, and over the 5D cue-bid, raised to 6D. a contract sort of doomed to failure on the 4-0 trump break, except a funny thing happened to the defense. After a Spade lead and 2 rounds of Hearts pitching the Spade loser, declarer cashed the A of Diamonds to find out the bad news, then instead of trying a legitimate line to make the contract ,either the Q of Hearts to pitch the Club loser, or such, played 3 rounds of Clubs ruffing on board, and played the Q of Hearts now. Our partners, fearing a pitch of a Diamond on this, ruffed it, allowing the slam to make when the second trump trick now vanished. Counting can not be overstated!

Back to the main part of the discussion, what does a forcing pass mean to your partnership, and what do you expect when partner bids on vs doubles?

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