Had a neat hand this weekend in a qualifying game against a good team. With no one Vul, I picked up K KQ9753 KJT752 ---, your standard 6-6 hand at Imps. In 3rd seat, I opened 1H, LHO overcalled 1S, partner bid 2C, and RHO bid 2S. I now bid 3D, LHO bid 3S, P, P to me. Decided to hope for something, and bid 4H, sorta what I was intending to do when I picked up the hand.
The opening lead was the 9 of Diamonds (Gee, think that is a singleton?) and a pretty sad dummy hit.
QJ97 J6 6 KJT653
Not what I really wanted to see, lots of defense and virtually no help on offense. And about the worst hand pard could have for 2C.
Turns out the Diamond was a singleton as I suspected, but when RHO won the A and exited A and a Heart, there was not much hope on the hand, and I pretty quickly drifted off 2.
The interesting thing was what happened at the other table. The auction started the same, with 1H - 1S, but this S kept silent, and it went 2S by RHO. This hand bid only 3D (I would have bid 4D here), and LHO now bid 3S. This went Double, P to N, who ran to 4H, what I would expect normally, On a lead other than the Diamond, our partners only beat this 1 trick, so not a serious loss, and we won the match by 6 Imps.
But after the hand, this N stated first, he did not see the Double (This is why the Double cards are RED), and if he had, he would have passed 3S Doubled in a second. With a 66 hand that makes game opposite the right Q. I have to admit, passing 3S Doubled would never really occur to me. You have no defense for your 2 bids, and the liklehood of missing a game is so high. Turns out you will beat 3S 1-2 tricks, and game does not make. But I do think this is playing the wrong end of the probability tree.
There was another interesting hand in the 3rd match we played. I picked up J75 AJ83 K74 JT9 with everyone Vul. Partner opened 2N (20-21) in first seat and I had to think a sec. But finally deciding that pushy slams are not a good idea with a 4333 hand, I started to sign off in 3N. Due to the way we play over 2N to look for minors, 3S is a relay to 3N, either to play or a 1 suited minor hand, 3N is both minors, so I started with 3S. This now got interesting as it went Double on my left, P, P to me.
What my partner and I had talked about was that Pass here said pard had some Spades, but not good enough to Redouble. I finally decided it was time to have some fun, and passed out 3S. The opening lead was a small Spade and partner tracked with
Q84 QT3 AQ AKQ64
J75 AJ83 K74 JT9
So 3N was a little better spot than our 3-3 fit, but I knew I had passed for the fun aspect, and to keep LHO under control in the future. So that meant I needed to make this. Assuming LHO had AKxxx of Spades (I assume with 6 he would start an honor), that gave me some hope, even if the K Hearts was offside. Although I was likely going to need that card onside, unless the distribution was friendly.
I ducked the Spade on board, and RHO contributed the 10, which I won with the J. Starting by cashing the Diamond AQ, I came to my hand with a Club and led the K of Diamonds. LHO now made a strange play of ruffing this low, allowing me to over ruff. It was looking more like LHO was something like 5323 or possibly 4 cards in either rounded suit. Either way, I needed to prevent a Club ruff by his partner, so exited dummy with the Q of Spades. Sure enough, RHO followed with a small Spade, and LHO cleared the AK of Spades (a better lead) before exiting a small Heart. Looked like I now had him, so played the 10 of Hearts, holding the trick, and started running Clubs. RHO showed out on the third round, so LHO was the 5323 and I was now making an overtrick.
LHO eventually ruffed a Club, and I was able to claim on the Heart return, making 10 tricks and a lucky +930. RHO now complained that the explanation of 3S was not sufficient. My partner had actually stated it was a minor oriented try, had not said that it might be a sign off in 3N as well. She said she would have run to 4D if it was explained correctly. Although after deciding that -1100 was not a good thing to bring back either, we settled for the 930 score.
And now, next time this hand comes up and I want to bid a silly slam off an AK, LHO may not make that double to give away the good lead. Or we can always hope, since the bad slams will still be there.