Thursday, December 9, 2010

Qualifying for Day 3 in the NA Swiss Teams

We had lots of earlier opportunities to qualify to play in the third day of the NA Swiss Teams in Orlando at the NABC’s, but had decided to defer the decision to this point in time (in other words, we had been doing the wrong thing a little too much). We needed a large win in the last round to leapfrog into a qualifying spot, and had been having a good round when this board came up as the last board of the set.

Vul vs Not Vul, you pick up A AK532 A KQJT843 and hear the auction go 1D by LHO, P, P to you? The opps are playing a standard 5 card major, strong NT, 2/1 system, so the Diamond bid can often be made on a 3 card suit. Any ideas on how to bid this monster in anything remotely like a sane auction?

The biggest problem is that most people play 2N in balancing seat as a standard 19/20+ balanced hand, not as unusual. So you can not use that to describe your hand. And just bidding 1 of your suits at the game or slam level is like rolling craps. Hint, discuss with you partner what 1D – P – P – 2N really means to that person.

After discussion with quite a few people after the fact, the consensus seemed to be that 2D followed by 3C over partners probable Spade bid was the best way to start. It should be forcing and show a good 2 suiter, probably in Hearts and Clubs like you have since you did not raise Spades. At least this way, you have a hope of getting your hand across to partner.

At our table, I opened a 12-14 HCP 1NT and after a long period of thought, my RHO leaped to 6C, since he could not think of a way to describe this hand over 1N. I had many scattered values, and did not want him to score ruffs in dummy, so I led A and another Club. When dummy contained a pair of pointed Jack’s with 2 small Clubs and 1 small Heart, there was no way to make the slam, and we got an eventual Heart winner for down 1.

At the other table where they opened 1D, our partner bid 2N, and then over partners 3H transfer into Spades, also leaped to 6C. This convinced my counterpart to protect his Heart holding with the same A and another Club, resulting in a push board, and us failing to qualify by 3 VP’s, despite having a 5-3 W/L record for the day.

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