Three hands from Gryphons II -- May 26, 2001 Jim Plank, with commentary by Kevin Wilson I wrote a little program to show the averages and standard deviations for each board, given the hand records on the web. From these, the top three in standard deviation were boards 16, 26, and 21. Board 16 is a hoot. Fun decisions at every seat. I'm interested in hearing Kevin's comments, because I just got waxed in a pair game in Richmond where my decisions on competitive bidding were wrong more than they were right..... --------------------------------- Board: 16 Dealer: W Vul: E-W Start with the dealer: S K8 H T742 D C KJT9843 I'm a 3C bidder myself. I imagine some will be deterred by either the vulnerability or the four card heart suit, but I like getting my pre-emptive bids in when I can. If partner has a moose, we may still find our hearts. Kevin: I bid 3C at the table. I filled in this week so I played all the hands. Sure, I wish I didn't have 4 hearts but we can't have everything and I'm vulnerable in 1st chair so I should have a decent suit and hand. Next is the north hand: S QJ97654 H D 9873 C A7 I'm a passer here. If I bid spades, partner will think I have a whole lot more and we'll get too high. Kevin: This was the discussion after the hand was over. I think your analysis is right on.... and its just what happened at my table. With this hand I SERIOUSLY doubt that the auction will end without my getting another turn. To me, this is just what I have: a pass now and then a 4S bid later. Even if partner only bids 3H, then my next bid would be 4S. I think after a double by pard, I would risk 6S. Now east: S T32 H 9653 D KT5 C Q52 Were we white on red, I'd bid 5C without a second thought. But we're not, so I'm passing. Kevin: Yuck. Raising my preempt on 4-3-3-3.... no thanks. We've taken up 2 full levels of space without them telling each other anything. Just let my preempt do its work. I might only have a 6 card suit and they certainly haven't found a guaranteed nine card fit. We might be looking at a 17 trick hand (Using the law of total tricks) or more likely 18 where both sides have 9 tricks. In my opinion, this is not a hand to to bid 5C. And now the really fun hand -- south: S A H AKQJ8 D AQJ642 C 6 Before thinking further, does your partnership have agreements over 3C that can handle hands like this? I'm sure Mike and Brooks do, and that the BigBen system will, of course, guide you once again to the optimal contract, but what about the rest of us? Although my bidding system with Suzy and Brad runs 20 pages, we don't have monster two-suiters over preempts covered... This hand probably has two losers opposite a broke partner, and I'm going to bid a slam. So I would bid 5N and hope that partner figures it out. In my opinion, partner should: If I had the majors, I'd cue bid clubs. If I had a single-suited hand, I'd just bid the slam myself, or I'd double and then bid a suit. So I have to have a two-suited hand with diamonds. Kevin: Your judgement certainly has its peaks and valleys Jim. I think 5NT is very intelligent and I think partner will get you to the correct spot after you bid it. P.S. I thought we played Roman Jumps... I know you play them over weak two's... A jump into a minor shows that minor and a major -- usually both suits are known because of the weak 2 bid. This hand warrants a 5NT bid, but if you were weaker isn't that a possibility? I can't say I thought of it -- would 4d show diamonds and a major? Seems reasonable, but I'd probably have a harder time figuring that one out as north than 5N.... Back to north: S QJ97654 H D 9873 C A7 After 3c-p-p-5n-p, I think 6d is right. It should be pretty clear that partner has diamonds and hearts, and my hand is going to be pretty helpful in diamonds. I guess 6S may rate to work as well, but I'd bid 6d. All four hands: S QJ97654 H D 9873 C A7 S K8 S T32 H T742 H 9653 D D KT5 C KJT9843 C Q52 S A H AKQJ8 D AQJ642 C 6 6d, 6h and 6s are all icy here. 6n goes down on a club lead, since there are not enough entries to take the double-finesse in diamonds. I think 6d is the best contract though, since it has the advantage of being cold opposite most distributions. 6H is well below 50%, and will go down if you try a diamond hook early. 6S is cold against most distributions (only KTxx of spades will get you). As it turns out, scores were everywhere: 1: +1100 -- it appears someone bid 5c and got whacked by Mildred and Louise. Ouch. 2: +980 -- 6H or 6S. I don't know. 1: +940 -- I would have gotten below average for my troubles. 2: -100 -- people in 6H? I guess. Weird hand. Kevin: Yes, ouch to bidding 5C red vs.white. A much deserved zero. ---------------------------------- Board: 26 Dealer: E Vul: Both Here's another hand where partnership understandings can help or hurt, depending on what you do with them: S J4 H QT973 D A65 C KQ9 You are west and partner opens 1n. You transfer. That's all straightforward. If you don't play super-accepts, then this one is easy. Partner accepts, you bid 3n, and partner bids 4h. You suspect there may be a slam somewhere, but you pass uneasily. Suppose you play super-accepts, and partner super-accepts, showing at least 4 hearts, and better than a minimum. Now what? Given my tendency toward slam-itis, I may trot out a key-card bid here, and blast if we have four of five. The argument against that is my dead doubleton of spades, but partner may have the king to overcome that..... But think about it more. Suppose partner has three keys. If they don't include the AS, then partner needs the KS. That's 14 points (AC, AH, KH, KS). Even if partner has the KD, is 6H a likely proposition? Maybe partner has AKQx,KJxx,xx,Axx. That's still down on a diamond lead. How about Kx,AKxxx,Kx,Axxx. Ok. That's making on the spade hook or if clubs are 3-3. Above 50%. But barely. It appears that the best action, even after the super-accept, is to stop in game. If you had more shape, then it's different, but you may not have enough sources of tricks to make six, even with a nine or ten card fit. I called Suzy and gave her the hand with no other explanation, and were she sitting west, our sequence would have been: 1N 2D 3C 3D 3H 4D 4H P 3C is a super-accept, showing maximal values (yes, a lie here, but I do have 5 trumps) and a doubleton club. 3D says ``great pard. Bid hearts please.'' 3H says ``ok'' 4D is a cue-bid, showing some slam interest, but no spade or club control. 4H says that I have overbid enough already. Partner can go on if she wants. P Nope. The hands: S T82 H D QJT84 C 76543 S J4 S K96 H QT973 H AJ652 D A65 D K93 C KQ9 C AT S AQ753 H K84 D 72 C J82 4H makes 4 unless the defense panics. I probably would have been in a rash 5H down one. The scores: 1: +650 -- Again, Mildred and Louise grab a top, I'm guessing when south panics, or perhaps gets endplayed, although that really shouldn't happen. Well done. 2: +620 -- 4H+4 -- the par result 2: -200 -- Two pairs bid the slam and went down two, or got whacked in five and went down one. Hard to imagine that happening on a key-card auction, but so it goes.... Kevin: I transferred, pard super-accepted with 3H and I bid a quiet 4H. This is one of those hands that you lose on by trying for too much. Both important cards are off-side, so not even playing the HA and then stripping the side suits for the endplay works... too bad. The last swinging board was board 21: ---------------------------------- Board: 21 Dealer: N Vul: N-S Now the fun seat is west: S AQ86 H A75 D C AKT963 You're looking forward to opening this 1C, when partner gets in the way with 1D. Pass to you, and I think regardless of whether you are playing two over one, you should bid 2C. I feel strongly that this bid should not deny a four-card major. Partner is not reversing with 2H or 2S, and you have much more effectively shown your values and shape. Kevin: I had the same opening by partner and I bid 2C. Partner bids 2h. Figures. Ok. Now we need to differentiate between standard american and two-over-one. Both auctions should continue with 2s, but with standard american, this is artificial; with two-over-one, it should be natural, but might be a lie if we have no better bid. In either case, partner raises to 3s, and now you know partner is 4441 or maybe 4432 or 4450. Now what? Your guess is as good as mine. If partner has the KQ of hearts, the queen of clubs and the jack of spades, we're making this slam most likely. Or the ace of diamonds instead of the queen of hearts. I think 6S is about as scientific as you're getting, but if you're playing 2/1, you might trot out a 5d bid as exclusion key card just so that you can have some peace of mind if partner shows one key card. If you're playing standard american, partner may pass 5d, since 2s may have been artificial, so that's probably not the best bid. Kevin: 6S seems pretty reasonable to me. I can't think of many hands that partner would bid 3S without 4 card trump support so it seems like the value bid. I'm a little worried we might be missing 7 if partner has the CQ. So now you're in 6S. LHO leads the AD and here are your hands: S AQ86 S KT72 H A75 H KQT8 D D QJ6 C AKT963 C J5 You ruff and cash the AS: three, two, jack! Hmmmm. Now what? Assume that south isn't lying, and had a stiff jack. I think that the best play is to play the ace of clubs and a low club. If south wins, you can work any return, draw trumps and run your clubs. If north ruffs, you can now ruff the diamond return, cash the DQ, ruff a club, draw trumps and cross to the AH and claim. If north wins, you again have control of the hand. I don't think I would have found it at the table, but several similar lines (working on clubs before drawing three rounds of trumps) do work with the given cards: S 9543 H J D AK92 C Q842 S AQ86 S KT72 H A75 H KQT8 D D QJ6 C AKT963 C J5 S J H 96432 D T87543 C 7 Note that if you take an early trump with the east hand, draw too many trumps, or burn an early heart card to take the club hook, you will go down -- a touchy hand. Kevin: I think you should make it, but I agree that you have to play it carefully. The scores: 1: +980 -- Ted and Patricia bid it and wrapped it! 1: +420 -- 4S+4, or maybe 5C+6. 1: +200 -- I guess if east does not open that hand, south may well preempt. Hmmm.. 1: +150 -- Ditto 1: -50 -- In the slam and down. In case you care, here are the boards, their average scores, and their standard deviations, ordered from greatest standard deviation down to least: Board AvgScore Stddev (N/S) 16 564.00 544.71 26 -298.00 406.76 21 -340.00 353.21 20 -180.00 299.33 22 -302.00 289.37 19 -94.00 283.80 23 -146.00 263.18 7 266.00 254.21 8 214.00 236.61 25 264.00 228.79 24 -30.00 213.54 12 -98.00 189.25 17 -60.00 185.04 13 526.00 178.50 2 160.00 171.46 5 -128.00 151.71 18 90.00 128.22 11 4.00 121.75 6 62.00 113.91 1 52.00 84.95 9 -54.00 80.40 10 -154.00 73.92 27 52.00 73.59 14 -78.00 64.93 3 176.00 22.45 15 1452.00 14.70 4 624.00 12.00 Kevin: Interesting statistics. Who would have thought we have 2 hands with a deviation of under 15. I'd agree that those are not the hands to discuss. Hope to see everybody on the 9th when the mini-lesson topic will be Balancing (part #1).