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An interesting hand from the BIL Well punk?

#1 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-September-29, 23:27

Your call. What does South have? What should (did) I do as East?
This hand came up today in the Beginners Intermediate Lounge - my favourite club.
My partner set me the difficult task of deciding what to do. Neither of us is a World Champion - although I once won a clothes dryer in a raffle.
Neither is anyone else in the tournament, but we are competent.
Here are my hand and the bidding at the moment of truth.
I simulated for a while at this point.

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#2 User is offline   apollo1201 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 00:02

You抳e told your story with your 1st bid. Pretty accurately, too. Even though in 3rd green vs red you could have much less. But you didn抰 lie on your number of S, sth that could be key in the card play.

Partner after passing has gone to the 5 level and Xed the slam, while also being on lead. You should trust him and pass.

You didn抰 promise any defense, just some kind of S suit with overall weakish strength.

Partner hasn抰 counted on you to defeat 6H, he has 2 sure tricks in his hand. Maybe QTxx trump while opener has AKJ 8th and his partner a void in what looks like a 2065 hand, +/- 1 card in the non-H suits.

If partner Xed with the SA and the HK, or an AK in a side suit, it is a bad reasoning as the honors might not cash. Passing will also help him remember this for a future occasion when S duly scores 6HX rather than 5H+1. Your minor K憇 could be a pleasant surprise, though, that will ruin the slam and the lesson at the same time.

I doubt S has a strong extreme hand (0850 distribution e.g.) and 珷knew牷 he would be 珷pushed牷 to the 6-level and bid deliberately like that to play there rather than defend 6SX for a cheap penalty. But if that is the case, you should congratulate him.
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#3 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 02:27

If you can't trust your partner here you never will. Pass.
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#4 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 02:40

I agree with the comments above, you should really pass. In fact, bidding again is really bad.

As for the rest of the bidding, if we trust partner (and South, and I suppose North as well) then it is likely there are some barbs being thrown around. If West was happy to play 5 and to defend 6X they should probably have bid this on the first round. I think the main reason for bidding 4 only is to see if EW fail to push to 5, but against strong opponents this can seriously backfire since they will use the extra round of bidding space to deliberate taking out versus sitting for 5. Of course it is in theory possible that West only had a 4 bid, but in light of the extra heart length in South the hand was worth an upgrade to 5, which in return made the South hand worth an upgrade/sacrifice in 6...
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#5 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 04:07

It is kind of silly to give us a bidding problem opposite a partner making stupid calls. It would have been far better to give us the AKTxx x Q9xx Jxx hand and poll on bidding strategy over 4. In any case, congratulations on getting +9.8 for second-guessing your partner. If you ever start playing with better players, understand that this is poor play and will single you out as a weak player to be avoided.
(-: Zel :-)

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#6 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 04:24

 Zelandakh, on 2020-September-30, 04:07, said:

It is kind of silly to give us a bidding problem opposite a partner making stupid calls. It would have been far better to give us the AKTxx x Q9xx Jxx hand and poll on bidding strategy over 4. In any case, congratulations on getting +9.8 for second-guessing your partner. If you ever start playing with better players, understand that this is poor play and will single you out as a weak player to be avoided.


At first, I thought your rather strange way of speaking to me was personal, and I found it rather annoying. Then I saw how you replied to other people on this Forum, and I realised that you seem to have remarkable language skills, but a complete lack of social skills.

Kind of fascinating really.
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#7 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 04:46

While I was simulating, the thoughts that were going through my mind were:

I play with this partner every morning (for the past 6 months or more), and then discuss the hands via video for around 30 minutes afterwards (my partner is in the USA), so we understand each other very well.
We also know the opponents well, and the rest of the field.
This matters.

I bid 2 which South overcalls 4.
South obviously means business.

My partner goes to the trouble of bidding 4 we have discussed this sort of auction many times so I know that she thinks it is makeable.
The continuing bidding suggests that South believes they can make 6.

The only thought that really crossed my mind was would anyone make the slam if it was available?

I bid 6.
The percentage of deals with 9400 is 0.0011% No wonder government is never ready for 1/100 year catastrophe's that come along every year.
The percentage of deals with 14 HCP is 5.693%
Here's the full deal. Here's the solution.

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#8 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 05:02

 pilowsky, on 2020-September-30, 04:46, said:

My partner goes to the trouble of bidding 4 we have discussed this sort of auction many times so I know that she thinks it is makeable.

Are you saying that your partner would pass 4 with the same shape but the honour cards turned into small ones?
(-: Zel :-)

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#9 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 06:06

 pilowsky, on 2020-September-30, 04:46, said:

While I was simulating, the thoughts that were going through my mind were:

I play with this partner every morning (for the past 6 months or more), and then discuss the hands via video for around 30 minutes afterwards (my partner is in the USA), so we understand each other very well.
We also know the opponents well, and the rest of the field.
This matters.

I bid 2 which South overcalls 4.
South obviously means business.

My partner goes to the trouble of bidding 4 we have discussed this sort of auction many times so I know that she thinks it is makeable.
The continuing bidding suggests that South believes they can make 6.

The only thought that really crossed my mind was would anyone make the slam if it was available?

I bid 6.


You are both quite mistaken about the proper strategies for this situation. Here is what (I think) you should all be thinking on this auction, step by step.

  • West: pass. Perhaps a tad conservative by modern standards (I would open 1), but there is nothing wrong with this call.
  • North: pass. Excellent bid.
  • East: 2. A great call - your suit has some weakness, but favourable vulnerability 3rd suit 'anything goes'. Some might argue for 3 based on the heart shortness and outside 4-card suit in clubs. The goal is to simultaneously make life difficult for the opponents by taking away their bidding space, and painting an accurate picture of your hand in one go so partner will know what to do later.
  • South: 4. You have succeeded in making life difficult for NS, since they would ideally try to explore a slam. I think a lot of people would double with the intention of bidding hearts on the second round, no matter the level.
  • West 4: Ignoring South's call for a second, this is where things really went wrong. West can see that between you there is an 11-card fit in spades. If the missing two cards in that suit divide 1-1 West has exactly one trick to contribute, and if they divide 2-0 West holds exactly nothing on defence. East's 2 can be wide-ranged in this situation, but it is likely that NS can make at least 5, and possibly (probably?) 6 as well. In your quote you say that West bids 4 "[as] it is makeable" (it actually goes 1 off according to DD), but that is not a priority at all on this auction. West should instead be thinking "it looks like NS can take a big number of tricks, presumably in hearts. I should make it maximally difficult for them to find the right contract, and I'll be happy to go 3-4 off at this vulnerability to achieve that!". Based on this the choice is between 5 and 6. I don't really know which is better. As a footnote, some better players than me might consider pass, betting that North will pass. I personally find this too risky if the hearts are distributed a bit more evenly.
  • North: pass. Excellent bid. It is not clear to me if this pass is forcing after partner jumped like this - are we sure the deal belongs to us?
  • East: pass. Excellent bid. You have given a description of your hand and partner is in charge now, you are not invited to bid again.
  • South: 5, catching up to last round's mistake by showing more strength on the second chance. I'm not sure I like this bid either, but I suppose you have to do something. I might have tried 4NT (minors/strength) correcting anything to 5, although I wouldn't be stuck in this position to begin with.
  • West: 5 is a clear mistake. Your hand has not changed in value in the slightest, you should have bid more last round. The same guiding principle applies: you will accept a reasonable penalty to avoid NS finding their best contract. 5 on the second round doesn't help with that at all. If anything South's second bid is an indication that there might be a void in spades, so you can perhaps catch up a bit by bidding 6 now. This might give NS the tough decision between 6X and 7.
  • North: South seems to have lost the plot a bit, but arguably pass here should be forcing. That sounds about right - you don't really want to sit for 5X, but no bid is indicated either.
  • East: Really on fire today, solid pass.
  • South: 6 over a forcing pass makes a lot of sense now, although 6 also sounds like a solid plan. Be sure to thank the opponents for giving you so many chances to describe your hand.
  • West: You have no defensive tricks on this bidding and it is your own lead, so pass is clearly indicated. Doubling here is a very poor call on these cards.
  • North: Sharing the MVP spot with East.
  • East: Your partner has completely misled you about their hand strength, and bidding 6 here is a complete breach of partnership trust. West promises to set 6 all by themselves and made no efforts to investigate slam, so you are (against normal bidding on the other side of the table) trading a + for a - with this action. It only works out well here because West has shown a complete lack of understanding of the auction so far, making a wrong bid at every opportunity (except arguably the first round).


I don't like arguing with good results, so I will congratulate you on the positive outcome. But West was completely off course here, and put you in a position where the normal action would have failed and a contraindicated action won big time. Shame on West.
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#10 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 07:07

 DavidKok, on 2020-September-30, 06:06, said:

You are both quite mistaken about the proper strategies for this situation. Here is what (I think) you should all be thinking on this auction, step by step.

  • West: pass. Perhaps a tad conservative by modern standards (I would open 1), but there is nothing wrong with this call.
  • North: pass. Excellent bid.
  • East: 2. A great call - your suit has some weakness, but favourable vulnerability 3rd suit 'anything goes'. Some might argue for 3 based on the heart shortness and outside 4-card suit in clubs. The goal is to simultaneously make life difficult for the opponents by taking away their bidding space, and painting an accurate picture of your hand in one go so partner will know what to do later.
  • South: 4. You have succeeded in making life difficult for NS, since they would ideally try to explore a slam. I think a lot of people would double with the intention of bidding hearts on the second round, no matter the level.
  • West 4: Ignoring South's call for a second, this is where things really went wrong. West can see that between you there is an 11-card fit in spades. If the missing two cards in that suit divide 1-1 West has exactly one trick to contribute, and if they divide 2-0 West holds exactly nothing on defence. East's 2 can be wide-ranged in this situation, but it is likely that NS can make at least 5, and possibly (probably?) 6 as well. In your quote you say that West bids 4 "[as] it is makeable" (it actually goes 1 off according to DD), but that is not a priority at all on this auction. West should instead be thinking "it looks like NS can take a big number of tricks, presumably in hearts. I should make it maximally difficult for them to find the right contract, and I'll be happy to go 3-4 off at this vulnerability to achieve that!". Based on this the choice is between 5 and 6. I don't really know which is better. As a footnote, some better players than me might consider pass, betting that North will pass. I personally find this too risky if the hearts are distributed a bit more evenly.
  • North: pass. Excellent bid. It is not clear to me if this pass is forcing after partner jumped like this - are we sure the deal belongs to us?
  • East: pass. Excellent bid. You have given a description of your hand and partner is in charge now, you are not invited to bid again.
  • South: 5, catching up to last round's mistake by showing more strength on the second chance. I'm not sure I like this bid either, but I suppose you have to do something. I might have tried 4NT (minors/strength) correcting anything to 5, although I wouldn't be stuck in this position to begin with.
  • West: 5 is a clear mistake. Your hand has not changed in value in the slightest, you should have bid more last round. The same guiding principle applies: you will accept a reasonable penalty to avoid NS finding their best contract. 5 on the second round doesn't help with that at all. If anything South's second bid is an indication that there might be a void in spades, so you can perhaps catch up a bit by bidding 6 now. This might give NS the tough decision between 6X and 7.
  • North: South seems to have lost the plot a bit, but arguably pass here should be forcing. That sounds about right - you don't really want to sit for 5X, but no bid is indicated either.
  • East: Really on fire today, solid pass.
  • South: 6 over a forcing pass makes a lot of sense now, although 6 also sounds like a solid plan. Be sure to thank the opponents for giving you so many chances to describe your hand.
  • West: You have no defensive tricks on this bidding and it is your own lead, so pass is clearly indicated. Doubling here is a very poor call on these cards.
  • North: Sharing the MVP spot with East.
  • East: Your partner has completely misled you about their hand strength, and bidding 6 here is a complete breach of partnership trust. West promises to set 6 all by themselves and made no efforts to investigate slam, so you are (against normal bidding on the other side of the table) trading a + for a - with this action. It only works out well here because West has shown a complete lack of understanding of the auction so far, making a wrong bid at every opportunity (except arguably the first round).


I don't like arguing with good results, so I will congratulate you on the positive outcome. But West was completely off course here, and put you in a position where the normal action would have failed and a contraindicated action won big time. Shame on West.


This is an excellent post and I find it very instructive. I have had my fingers burned before competing and pushing the opponents into a making game or slam. I sometimes find it hard to judge when to let them play in 3M rather than bid on and see them land in 4M making.
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#11 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 07:43

I got the answer wrong :( but would I get upset to get caught out on a deal that is a complete freak and turns up 'once in a blue moon' as verified by the odds posted by the OP. The answer is a resounding NO.
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#12 User is offline   doccdl 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 10:22

With AKxxx opposite a third seat 2 opening it was very unwise on part of West to bid 4 .worst was the 5 and the double after that.In my personal opinion ,only a beginner ,if not a novice, must be sitting West.
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#13 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 10:36


My tuppence worth: the auction up to 6 is reasonable; although West's 4 shouldn't mean that he expects the contract to make -- he must be allowed to sacrifice, when appropriate. West has little defence. Hence, he shouldn't double 6. In the context of his 2 opener, however, East has lots of defence, so he should be happy to pass. East-West have a combined 18-count, so defensive prospects are reasonable. Unfortunately, South's extreme shape and the fortunate diamond distribution allow 6 to sneak home, with good guesses.
Luckily, Paul knows his customers and bid 6 :) 6X-2 would show a profit over 4 by opponents :)

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#14 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 12:35

[Note: my original answer got the vulnerability completely backwards, and is therefore hopelessly wrongity wrong (even though the conclusion is the same). I've spoilered it here so that discussions proving my inability to read don't get damaged.]

Spoiler


In answer to the original post: follow suit and signal accurately. With my two kings where I could have had one, or just a queen, to go with the known QJxxxx, this should go for its life, even with a 10-card heart suit. Any other plan says "partner, I don't think you know how to play this game." But, since it's posted, that answer is obviously not correct on this hand.

After the resulting: Turns out you (and I) were right. Your partner doesn't know how to play this game. Doubling slam with zero tricks opposite a white on red, third seat preempt is ludicrous; I'd expect to take zero tricks more often than two. And so is 5, having bid 4. When responding to preempts, you raise the preempt as hard as you are willing to immediately. Doing this pussyfooting simply gives the opposition options they didn't have before.

Reading the resulting: p-p-2-4; 4 absolutely does not mean that it will make. At these colours, all it means is that it's almost sure we'll take more tricks in spades than they do, and that partner expects 4 to make (-500 for -3 into -620) But 4 says what he has - "4 makes I think, maybe they'll hit me thinking 5 doesn't, or maybe it doesn't, or maybe they'll miss slam if it makes, maybe we'll push them into it when it doesn't". But that doesn't matter. When you preempt, partner is captain. He doesn't have to tell you anything except "I think this is the right bid with my hand, having heard yours." Now, with many of my partners, I play double *by the preempter* as "I want to sacrifice, I have less defence than you expect" - but that's explicitly so that partner can pass to say "I don't." You have a massive hand for defence complared to what partner expects at these colours - so even if you were playing this, this isn't the hand for it.

"The five level belongs to the opponents" is an old saw, but it definitely applies here. "Bid to the level where, if they bid on, they're where you want them" also applies. LOTT and all that, sure, but watch colours. With the west hand, I expect 6 to make, as I said above, 7 isn't out of the question - Kx instead of JTx in dummy does it. So either I hang low - Pass! - and hope they don't realize it, or I guess whether 6 or 7 spades is the right thing to do. I think *6* immediately would be my guess (and if it leads to -2210, oh well), or pass. But this "maybe they'll let us play here" 4, then 5, nonsense is just that.

You should definitely have been -480, or maybe -1430 if North takes the push after hearing "more offence". I don't expect that, though, if he didn't make a move over 4. While IRL, you're never going -500 in 6, and even -300 beats game, +200 beats all of those, and I'd expect +500 with the two "surprise kings".

[original continues here, as it still applies]As your opponents, if I didn't find the underlead of 100 honours (oh come on, mycroft, *when*), I would write the -4 (or -14, even) in the scorecard and simply assume you'll give it back to us before we leave, or the next time we play you anyway. "Guess to bid 6" with me as your partner, having carefully led them into my trap - even if it's right - and there's a decent chance we'll never play again. I don't play with partners who assume I can't bid, or who bid my cards for me, or with partners who need to have an answer to "how could we have got this hand right" for every hand (because that's impossible).

The big problem with hands like this, where both players in the partnership deserve 100% of the blame but they magically get a top, is that they keep doing it and don't wonder why it never works again.
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#15 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 14:43

 mycroft, on 2020-September-30, 12:35, said:

You should definitely have been -680, or maybe -990 if North takes the push after hearing "more offence". I don't expect that, though. While IRL, you're never going -800 in 6, red on white slam saves are rare for a very good reason, and swap the K with the T, and it's quite likely you'll get the underlead to lose the fourth trick. Sure, -800's still better than -1210, but you should have been -680.


Uh, I agree with a lot of your post, but you've misread the vulnerabilities and are suggesting a lot of strange scores above. pilowsky is white, opps are red. Also, it's really hard to be -990 when the opponents are vul. It's pretty hard also even non-vul when they are playing in hearts :). Also weird to be giving up 680 to a game but only 990 to a slam :).

6Sx goes for -300 without the DD underlead of HAKQJ for non-ruff which would be recorder worthy.
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#16 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 15:23

Yikes, so I did. That makes a big difference. I'll do a massive strikethrough and edit. Doesn't make the conclusions different, but we get there via a much different way now.
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#17 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-September-30, 19:29

Partner is doubling for business and you have two side suit Kings

Pulling the double seems really unilateral.
Alderaan delenda est
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#18 User is offline   nekthen 

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Posted 2020-October-01, 02:38

I refuse to play with any partner who pulls my penalty double, and I refuse to play with any partner that thinks the West hand has a penalty double
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#19 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-October-01, 02:48

View Postnige1, on 2020-September-30, 10:36, said:


My tuppence worth: the auction up to 6 is reasonable; although West's 4 shouldn't mean that he expects the contract to make -- he must be allowed to sacrifice, when appropriate. West has little defence. Hence, he shouldn't double 6. In the context of his 2 opener, however, East has lots of defence, so he should be happy to pass. East-West have a combined 18-count, so defensive prospects are reasonable. Unfortunately, South's extreme shape and the fortunate diamond distribution allow 6 to sneak home, with good guesses.
Luckily, Paul knows his customers and bid 6 :) 6X-2 would show a profit over 4 by opponents :)



It depends on whether it is MPs and if so, did the field bid to 6? If not, and if South is capable of finding the correct line to make the slam, EW are stuffed whatever East does at his last turn. 6 might be cheaper than 4 the other way but that is irrelevant if the field is playing in 5 going one less off. Probably the only hope is South misguesses diamonds.
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#20 User is offline   nudnikbp 

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Posted 2020-October-01, 04:46

Pass. Automatic.
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