Gryphons II -- Hand writeup -- January 19, 2002
                       Jim Plank & Kevin Wilson

Here is the big swing board of 1/19.  It doesn't seem very exciting
to me, but we'll go over it.  The decision hand is north (plus, N/S
may need some agreements).

Board: 2   Dealer: E    Vul: N-S

         S A943
         H KQ8
         D 52
         C KQJ3

Pass from lefty, and partner opens 1d.  1s from you and partner
reverses to 2H.  Here your agreements come into play.  What is
forcing, and what isn't?  Is 2N forcing?  Do you care?  I
think there's an argument for 6n, but knowing me and my desire
to take things slowly, I'd probably bid 2n, forcing, to hear
what north has to say.  North bids 3d, and now I think 6n
is right, again if you have no other agreements.

Kevin: I like to play any bid is forcing and natural.  I don't play
       escapes after a reverse, but I could pass the reverse if I was
       just escaping a bad 1 level suit.

Playing minorwood, I'd trot out 4d, and partner will bid
4h, showing one or four key cards.  4s asks for the QD, and
if pard has it, I'll bid 7n (looks like we have 6 diamonds,
three hearts, four clubs, and a spade -- that's 14 tricks!).
Partner bids 4n, denying the queen, and now 6n is fine.

Kevin: I like your plan but not your final decision.  You'd bid a
       grand banking on a 3-2 split?  What if his pattern was
       1-4-5-3? Then it would be a 3-3 split if he didn't have the
       jack.  I think you should condsider 5NT (after asking for the
       queen) to guarantee all the key cards and suggest the grand.
       (I see he might not be too excited but if his diamonds were
       solid he would probably bid it.) He has to trust your bidding.
       This is a good hand to artificially set diamonds as trumps so
       you can ask about the diamond queen.  You can always convert
       to nt later.

I'll deal with this after the hand.

Here are the hands:

         S A943
         H KQ8
         D 52
         C KQJ3

S KT86          S QJ72
H T95432        H
D T             D QJ9
C 62            C T98754

         S 5
         H AJ76
         D AK87643
         C A

Pity pard doesn't have the QD -- then we have 16 tricks!  As it is,
6n is down on a spade lead, but given the bidding and east's hand,
I think the CT is most likely.  Given the bidding, the SQ probably
can't hurt, but I think I'd lead the CT.

Kevin: I disagree with the 2H bid.  I think 3D is more descriptive.
       Over 3nt I would bid 4H next (or raise 3H to 4). 7-4 hands
       rarely play well in a 4-4 fit.

The scores:

  4 - +1440 6N+6.  No one found a spade lead.
  1 - +1370 6D+6.  The par result was worth 3/7.  So it goes.
  2 -  +690 3N+6.
  1 -  +660 3N+5.  Did Bob Levesque or Mary Fry find a spade lead?
                   Perhaps we'll never know....

Ok, back to the question of the grand slam.  I think if pard is
1-4-5-3, he should bid 3c over 2n.  2d should guarantee six diamonds.
If I thought pard could have only 5 diamonds, I'd be less aggressive,
and do something like you suggest (show partner that we have all the
aces plus the KQ of diamonds, and let him make the final decision).

Given that, how good of a bid would 7n be if pard had the QD? It
doesn't look like we can make 13 tricks without the diamonds, so
concentrate on that suit.  Without the DJ, you need diamonds to split
3-2, which is a 67.8% chance.  Otherwise, you need the DJ, so I'll
simulate.  Ok, given over 10,000,000 random hands opposite
A943,KQ8,52,KQJ3, 65 have x-4-6-x shape with under 21 points and the
requisite cards (AH, AKQD, AC). Since the hand has only 8 tricks, I
wouldn't open it 2C. Of these, 23 have the DJ. This means you
will make 7n 100*((23/65)+.678*(42/65)) = 79.2 percent of the time.
Is this good enough to bid?  Well, in saturday's game, bidding 6n got
you 5.5/7 = 78.5%, so 7N probably is only worth the adrenaline
and the bragging you get to do later if it makes.  If more of the
field is finding 6n, I think 7n is a worthwhile bid.

At IMPs, your expected value is -100x.208+2210x.792 = 1730, which is
clearly higher than 1440/1470.  Moreover, if the diamonds don't come
home and the opponents find a spade lead, you won't even
make 6n.  So, at IMPs, 7n seems like a clear winner.

Kevin may disagree, but I'd rather be there at both matchpoints and
IMPs.  Bidding grands that most pairs don't find is one of the
joys of bridge -- I wouldn't want to deprive myself that joy......

Kevin: My final word... I agree that a rebid of 3D should show 6 or
       more diamonds but that's the end of where we agree.  Why try
       for a super top?  67.8 % Grand Slams assume that every other
       pair reaches the best slam.  On this hand isn't 6D the only
       cold slam anyway?  My philosphy is to let partner make that
       decision since I don't have diamond length to solidify the
       AKQ. If I had Jx for instance, or if I had even xxx I would
       bid the grand myself.  Simulate the number of times partner
       has the J all you want, I'll just ask him for it!

No problem.  We all reserve the right to be wrong, and it's ok for
you to exercise it every now and then......

Board: 23   Dealer: S    Vul: Both

Look at the E/W hands.  Can you find 6S after south opens 1d?

Commentaries of this type are kind of self-serving, since I
know that 6S is shivering cold, but it will be good to hear
Kevin's comments.

S KT8753        S AQ962
H AJ943         H 5
D 9             D J8
C K             C AQ762

First, what do you bid over 1d?  2d or 1s?  I'm a 1s bidder --
typically I reserve 2d for weak (10 or fewer pts), or strong
(16+) hands.  I know I have 11 points with three of them in a
stiff king, but this is a strong hand.  I want partner fishing
for game when I get my heart bid in.

I think east should bid either 2d or 4h over 1s.  Certainly 4s is way
too weak.  Now it's anyone's guess, but I think west can easily drive
to a slam after 4h.  I'm not sure about 2d.  I'll let Kevin give his
preferred bidding sequence, but here are the hands and results:

         S J
         H QT87
         D Q542
         C J843

S KT8753        S AQ962
H AJ943         H 5
D 9             D J8
C K             C AQ762

         S 4
         H K62
         D AKT763
         C T95

Kevin:  I think the responding hand should be the one driving to slam.
        My sequence:

      After 1d:
      1S    2D
      2H    3C
      4D*   4N
      5H**  6S

       * splinter
       ** 2 key cards & no spade queen

Kevin: the logic of 4nt is the fact that 3 clubs drew a splinter...
       this shows more interest then either 3 or 4 spades so partner
       must think he has some good cards for slam.  The 5th trump and
       the stiff heart are enough to ask for key cards.

       I disagree with 4H first because all the room is gone.  If
       you're going to bid 4H as a splinter then bid 2D first and
       then bid 4H over partner's likely low level bid.  What will
       you bid over 1S-4H-4S? Driving to slam is unilateral now...As
       you see, my plan was to show support and then show my good
       club suit.  I think my bidding is more descriptive and I think
       I will get to slam 85% of the time on these cards.  I don't
       know about slam after 1D-2D*-P-4S-P-??? I don't think its
       clear to bid here.

Results -- an equal split: 4 pairs in 6S and 4 in 4S.

Kevin: It would be interesting to see which pairs reached slam after
       a 1S bid or a 2D bid.  Anyone who played it want to chime in?