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IMP pairs, some problem hands

#1 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-July-24, 09:54

Playing 5CM, strong NT. IMP pairs, three tables in total.



Non vul vs vuln, you dealer. Your call?

One reason I lose at bridge, another defensive decision I couldn't work out:



I can't remember the bidding, but the opponents were playing an unusual system and ended up in 4 (partner was silent) which apparently can go down on best defence. We or I failed to find the best defence.

Partner led the A then switched to the T which went J, Q, K. Declarer led a heart to the ace and played the king. I have to decide whether to ruff high or low. I ruffed low and was surprised to find partner held six hearts when declarer overruffed. I think I blew that one by not ruffing high. One table making 3NT, the second table didn't get past 2 so that was 5.5 imps out.


I decided I was a bit too good for a 15-17 NT so decided to open 1, planning to bid NT showing an 18 count next time. What do you do now?



Just making for 6.5 imps out. One table found the making 5 our way. I'm not sure if I could have done more as South. Is partner's hand worth showing the second suit at the three level?



This was a flat board for us, but I had a comment from partner (this was RealBridge) that I should have done something, like a double. What do you think?

I was quite pleased with the way I played this one, admittedly the defence was sub-optimal. Minus 10 imps for that, we should be in 3NT:



We should be in a cold 4, that was 5 imps out. Can't remember if we were playing support doubles, probably not or partner forgot. Maybe I should have repeated my heart suit.

Stone dead last in the end with -19.5 imps, another evening to forget.
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#2 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-July-24, 11:11

1. I pass with hands like that. 4 (or, even worse, 3) is courting disaster.
2. You should probably have asked the opponents what they have shown on the bidding. If it is clear that they are playing in a 4-3 fit then pitching a diamond is starting to look decent.
3. Double (the Clooney convention).
4. Please urge North to become a bit more active. I would have opened 1 (the longer suit) and have prepared to bid 4NT over 4M the next round to show both minors. Playing dead on the 2-level with such a battleship of a hand is crazy. South is fixed, you never run with 4 hearts.
5. A lot of people play 1NT natural in the sandwich position, and it describes this hand perfectly. If you do not have that available then your partnership should discuss how to show this hand instead, but passing is losing bridge.
6. East seems to have lost the plot. I bet they regretted passing (which was a bad move) and then tried to make up for it on the second round (which is worse). Just open 1 and you are in business.
7. It's closer this time but I still don't like how East handled the hand. Double is indicated even if not playing support doubles.
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#3 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-July-24, 14:14

View PostDavidKok, on 2021-July-24, 11:11, said:

1. I pass with hands like that. 4 (or, even worse, 3) is courting disaster.
2. You should probably have asked the opponents what they have shown on the bidding. If it is clear that they are playing in a 4-3 fit then pitching a diamond is starting to look decent.
3. Double (the Clooney convention).
4. Please urge North to become a bit more active. I would have opened 1 (the longer suit) and have prepared to bid 4NT over 4M the next round to show both minors. Playing dead on the 2-level with such a battleship of a hand is crazy. South is fixed, you never run with 4 hearts.
5. A lot of people play 1NT natural in the sandwich position, and it describes this hand perfectly. If you do not have that available then your partnership should discuss how to show this hand instead, but passing is losing bridge.
6. East seems to have lost the plot. I bet they regretted passing (which was a bad move) and then tried to make up for it on the second round (which is worse). Just open 1 and you are in business.
7. It's closer this time but I still don't like how East handled the hand. Double is indicated even if not playing support doubles.


Thanks for your insight. On 2. I did receive explanation of the opponent's bidding, and North had shown a spade suit in the bidding, so there was no indication they were playing in a Moysian fit.

On 5. is it not dangerous to overcall 1NT in the sandwich position when partner is marked with rubbish (unless opener has opened very light)? If it is accepted as a risk worth taking, I will suggest to partner that we play this.
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#4 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2021-July-24, 15:02

AL78 ' Playing 5CM, strong NT. IMP pairs, three tables in total. Non vul vs vuln, you dealer. Your call?'++++++++++++++++++++++
I rank
1. 3 = TImid but leaves room for 3N by partner. If opponents interfere, intend to bid again.
2. 5 = Commital.
3. 4 = Baby bear's choice, perhaps.


AL78 'One reason I lose at bridge, another defensive decision I couldn't work out: I can't remember the bidding, but the opponents were playing an unusual system and ended up in 4 (partner was silent) which apparently can go down on best defence. We or I failed to find the best defence. Partner led the A then switched to the T which went J, Q, K. Declarer led a heart to the ace and played the king. I have to decide whether to ruff high or low. I ruffed low and was surprised to find partner held six hearts when declarer overruffed. I think I blew that one by not ruffing high. One table making 3NT, the second table didn't get past 2 so that was 5.5 imps out.
++++++++++++++++++++
Don't understand the play.



AL78 'I decided I was a bit too good for a 15-17 NT so decided to open 1, planning to bid NT showing an 18 count next time. What do you do now?
+++++++++++++++++++
I rank
1. X = Cards.
2. Pass

AL78 'Just making for 6.5 imps out. One table found the making 5 our way. I'm not sure if I could have done more as South. Is partner's hand worth showing the second suit at the three level?
++++++++++++++++++
IMO, North is worth at least one more bid.


AL78 'This was a flat board for us, but I had a comment from partner (this was RealBridge) that I should have done something, like a double. What do you think? :
+++++++++++++++++
Agree with partner that you are worth a protective double.
AL78 'I was quite pleased with the way I played this one, admittedly the defence was sub-optimal. Minus 10 imps for that, we should be in 3NT.'
+++++++++++++++++
Somehow, GIB can make 4 but it's double-dummy :)


AL78 'We should be in a cold 4. That was 5 imps out. Can't remember if we were playing support doubles, probably not or partner forgot. Maybe I should have repeated my heart suit. Stone dead last in the end with -19.5 imps, another evening to forget.
++++++++++++++++++
Another argument for support doubles :)

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#5 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-July-24, 15:06

Am I the only one who prefers a thread for each hand?
At least please number them.
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#6 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-July-24, 15:17

View PostAL78, on 2021-July-24, 14:14, said:

On 5. is it not dangerous to overcall 1NT in the sandwich position when partner is marked with rubbish (unless opener has opened very light)? If it is accepted as a risk worth taking, I will suggest to partner that we play this.
There are a few arguments that apply in this situation.
  • Bidding may be risky, but so is passing. At least if you bid 1NT partner can fight for a partscore on nothing but a bit of shape, or defend when it is right. If you pass partner will never stick their neck out at maybe 3 points and out, when often it will be right to compete.
  • You can get doubled in this situation, quite easily in fact. Make sure to discuss with your partner that a single -500 or even -800 doesn't mean the end of the world. That being said I like 'natural sandwich NT' more at matchpoints than at IMPs.
  • These days people open on flat 11's and respond with ugly 4's. It is extremely possible your side has a game on this auction, and you simply cannot afford to let the bad guys get one over on you.


Interesting to see that Nigel and I strongly disagree on the proper action on the first hand.
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#7 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2021-July-25, 01:05

Hand 1 - How good are your opponents? The better my opponents, the more I bid. Against club average opponents, I bid 4 and shut up (and hope they guess wrong). Against really timid opponents, I might buy it for 3. If your opponents have better judgement than the room, I'll go with 5.

Hand 2 - We really need the whole auction here. There probably *is* an inference in the auction that would have helped you figure it out. One of the skills expert bridge players have is to hear an explanation of the auction, get all the inferences from it, and remember all of them during the play. I think, given what you've previously said about your ability to figure out things at the table and the fact that you can't recall the auction for us (a player who can use the auction at the table is also likely to be able to remember it later), you should just accept that you have to let this one go.

Hand 3 - At MPs, this is a tough decision. At IMPs, just pass and accept that you'll lose 3 IMPs to avoid losing 6 IMPs. If partner held xxx xxx x Kxxxxx and you lost a double game swing as a result, find a new partner (because they should've raised you to 2).

Hand 4 - Please check if your partner has a pulse. (While you're at it, teach them losing trick count. They should understand they have a 5 loser hand, not the 7 or 8 loser hand that is common when they have 13 hcp.)

Hand 5 - I can understand passing the first time around, but you can't pass that out at 2.

Hand 6 - I don't understand either the initial pass or the second round 3 bid. Surely East has a game force after a 2 level overcall of a opponent weak 2.

Hand 7 - East's hand is too strong for 3. I would bid 2 if not playing support doubles. I don't think West should make a 3 bid on the given bidding if, as most play it, that is forcing.
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#8 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-July-25, 04:27

Firstly, I apologise for the poor formatting in my OP. I was trying to rattle something off quickly and was tired at the time, I can and will make better posts than this in future.

Secondly, thanks for the instructive points. It is apparent there are situations I am not bidding when I should, and this is likely a contribution to the reason I declare four times in 25 boards. That sandwitch 1NT advice is very useful.

I have asked one of the opponents on the defensivce error hand for the auction so will come back on that one. At least part of the reason I can't remember it is because it was very unusual so can't reconstruct it.

Here is what happened on the couple of hands I posed as problems.

Hand 1:



I decided to open an aggressive 5, which on the layout is the wrong suit to sacrifice in and had the potential to go badly wrong, but East decided to choose a major which ended the auction. 13 imps in when the other two tables find 6, so I got lucky. What can East do when it comes round to them? 5NT pick a slam and correct a 6 bid to 6?

Hand 3:



There is a new addition to the scorecards on the club website, it now has an "Expert View" below the board which gives some sample auctions, and this was one of them. Having looked at my partner's hand again I'm surprised she didn't bid a pre-emptive 3 raise at her first opportunity, I would then bid 4 over 4, and if I was very lucky I play there undoubled for one down if they don't find the club ruff (not easy). Still lose imps when the other tables are playing in 1 and 2 but not as many. Not much you can do if you get the most aggressive opponents in the field and it is right to be aggressive.

There were two other hands we lost a game swing but I know why. One was my partner's fault and the other we could do nothing about. That is why we finished bottom, there were several hands we could have done more which turned out expensive when we didn't, and we were on the receiving end of bad luck on a couple of others.


I've since found out the "Expert" view is the auctions that happened at the tables, so this is what happened on the 4 hand:


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#9 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2021-July-25, 08:41

On hand 2, shouldn't West lead a trump?
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#10 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-July-25, 09:20

View PostDouglas43, on 2021-July-25, 08:41, said:

On hand 2, shouldn't West lead a trump?


I contacted one of the opponents on that hand enquiring abou the auction (and who pointed out theat "Expert View" on the boards referred to the auctions at the tables), and he said that it needs a trump lead to take 4 off. I (West) cannot lead a trump because North was declarer so my partner was on lead. I theoretically could have overtaken her K lead and led a trump but that is too advanced a defence for me to find.
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#11 User is offline   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2021-July-25, 09:22

AL78, if they were on RealBridge you can usually log back into the session (use the original link) and run through the auction and play of any hand.
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#12 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-July-25, 11:52

On the boards numbered 5 and 9 your opponents got lucky - doubling while missing a fourth heart, and psyching 1 holding only 3 but landing in a playable contract (although they should have been able to get to 3NT with normal bidding). I agree that your partner should have jumped on board 9.
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#13 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-July-25, 13:43

View PostDavidKok, on 2021-July-25, 11:52, said:

On the boards numbered 5 and 9 your opponents got lucky - doubling while missing a fourth heart, and psyching 1 holding only 3 but landing in a playable contract (although they should have been able to get to 3NT with normal bidding). I agree that your partner should have jumped on board 9.


The 1 wasn't a psyche, it was described as nearly always four+, but can be three very rarely with weak minors and short hearts.
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#14 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-July-25, 14:14

View PostAL78, on 2021-July-25, 13:43, said:

The 1 wasn't a psyche, it was described as nearly always four+, but can be three very rarely with weak minors and short hearts.

South seems to have thought it showed four ;)
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