Thursday, February 2, 2012

Less than Optimal Slam Bidding

Playing in our weekly IMPS League the other night, we had a couple of slam hands that we brought back less than optimal results on.

On the first hand, I held 83 9873 AJ65 AQ4 with All VUL, and passed in first seat. Partner opened 1S in third seat, with the opponents silent throughout. I bid 1N forcing, and partner now jumped to 3S. This is where I made a very lazy bid, with an absolute maximum for my original pass, I should make a forward going cue-bid of 4C here. That gives us a good shot at getting to the cold slam in Spades. Instead I just raised to 4S, end playing partner into being forced to Pass with Jxx of Clubs in her hand. 4S can be made on a lot worse holding, and partner can not really go on over it. Partner held AKQJxx Ax K Jxx, and the entry to the A of Diamonds for the Heart pitch can never really be attacked early enough. The only thing that can beat 6S is the lead of a singleton Club.

The opponents at the other table opened a weak NT with my hand, and now the other hand had no trouble driving to a slam for a 12 IMP loss.

The next hand, my partner held this nice hand, Vul vs Not, --- A72 AKJ75 QT876 and heard it go 1D by partner, 1H on her right. She had the options of bidding 3C, fit showing, or 2C, natural and forcing, and chose the latter, which I do like. There is going to be time to get the Diamonds in later, but you want to know how partner feels about Clubs. LHO now jumped to 3H (Pre-emptive) and partner bid 4C freely. RHO passed, and she now bid 4H, which went Pass, 5C by partner, Pass back to her. This is actually good news, since partner was not able to make a Spade cue-bid of any type, and is marked with Heart shortness, her hand has improved on the auction. At this point, she bid 6C, missing the best bid available of 5N (Grand Slam Force). Her LHO now bid 6H, which was doubled by partner and passed back to her. She sat this, and we collected +1100 on the board when I could not read her for having a void in Spades on the hand. I wound up with 1 Spade trick instead of 2 ruffs.

Turns out her RHO had overcalled 1H with also having AJxx in Spades, so it was not easy to get right. My hand was QT73 4 QT62 AKJ4. I have a minimum, but after 2C by partner and 3H weak on my right, my Clubs and singleton Heart make my hand too good not to bid freely to 4C. 7C is pretty easy on the board, and if they take the sack in 7H, it is now easier to picture first round Spade control of some type in partners hand, and lead Spades when in with the Clubs, getting us up to a possible +1700 score. At the other table, our partner did not overcall 1D with 1H, so the auction was a quick 1D-6D, making 7, for a 7 IMP loss.

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