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Lock Down League Season 15

Season 15 starts off with a win against ABC (18-0). Go Woodberry C

Hand Review
IMP Pairs 19th December

You can make a slam on this hand in either♣ or NT, so this is all about the bidding. In the example sequence shown all three tables opened correctly with 1♣ . Only one table made the correct response of 1 It is true that you should supress a minor in favour of a four card major, but only when you are not strong enough to make a responders reverse.

After a 1♠ response North has nowhere to go other than 2♣ whereas if South responds 1now North bid hearts and South can show the reverse with a jump bid of 2♠. At the table South now bids 4♣ in an effort to catch up, and in my view is distinctly slammy. North is probably worth a cue bid showing a heart control and by implication denying a control in diamonds, but decided instead to sign off in 5♣.

This was a good result for EW until the cavalry arrived in the form of a double that converted a top into a bottom. There is no point in doubling a non-vulnerablecontract unless you are certain that the opposition are sacrificing, which isn't the case here. It could have been worse if NS had redoubled and declarer made the overtrick that ended up getting lost in the mist.

Finally, there is the lead. Doubletons are perilous leads at the best of times. Assuming declarer wins the first trick and returns a trump, in order to make your ruff you need your partner to win the next trick when you lead the remaining card from your doubleton. This is a long shot, far better is to anticipate the use of trumps in the dummy and start shortening them at trick 1 with a small trump. The worst doubleton of them all is Jx. In this case it doesn't hurt because declarer has an easy12 tricks without this gift, but often a lead from Jx helps declarer to set up a side suit.

Hand analysis
Tuesday Teams
Board 1
North Deals
None Vul
9 6 5 3
K 8 4
6 2
K Q J 10
Q 7 2
7 6 5 3
9 8 7 3
8 5
N
WE
S
K J 8
A Q J 2
A Q 4
A 4 3
A 10 4
10 9
K J 10 5
9 7 6 2

EW 3; E 2; EW 1; W 1; NS 1;
Par −140: EW 2+1


Robson Random 27

Board 2
East Deals
N-S Vul
9 8 2
Q 7 5 2
10 6 4
J 10 5
A K 7 6 3
K 8 3
A K Q 9
Q
N
WE
S
Q 5
A 9 6
8 3
A K 7 6 3 2
J 10 4
J 10 4
J 7 5 2
9 8 4

EW 7N; EW 7; EW 7; EW 6; EW 6;
Par −1520: EW 7N=

WestNorthEastSouth
  1 Pass
1 Pass2 Pass
2 Pass2 Pass
3 Pass3 NTPass
6 NTAll pass  
6 NT by East
Made 7 — EW +1020

2  is forcing to game, if you don't play third suit forcing then you have little choice other than jumping to 3  giving up valuable bidding space. Now East can show delayed support for spades and West can bid out his shape. After 3 NT West has enough to bid 6 NT.

In pairs this is sufficient to score 60+% but as you can see 7 NT is cold because of the split in the black suits. A suit will split 36% of the time or not split 64% of the time. If you know that you cold 8 cards in both black suits then the odds of both splitting badly is 64*64 or 40% and therefore the odds on making a grand slam are pretty good.

It's not easy to bid though


Pietro Forquet

Board 3
South Deals
E-W Vul
7 5 4
5 4
A Q 9 7
9 7 5 4
A Q J 10 9 6
9 6
2
A K 3 2
N
WE
S
8
8 3 2
J 10 8 6 3
Q 10 8 6
K 3 2
A K Q J 10 7
K 5 4
J

EW 3; NS 3; EW 3; NS 1N; NS 1;
Par −100: NS 4×−1

WestNorthEastSouth
   1 
1 Dbl3 3 
4 All pass  
4  by East
Made 4 — EW +620

This is a hand taken from Bridge with the Blue Team. West Starts off with the A followed by the K, which is ruffed by Forquet. This was a defensive mistake because it allowed South to ruff out the clubs and pull off an amazing coup. He draws 2 rounds of trumps and crosses to dummy with a diamond and ruffs another club. The fact that West follows to this trick reveals the bad split in diamonds, because west is known to have six spades 2 hearts and 3 clubs, so can only have at a maximum 2 diamonds, and therefore East has two many diamonds for him to bring in the diamond suit for 4 tricks.

Now he draws the last trump, and West is now wise to the risk of being end played and having to lead away from the A so discards the Q.This is followed by two rounds of diamonds follwed by with with another high spade and a low club.

Now the last club is ruffed and West throws another high spade. But it is to no avail because declarer can exit with the K which is taken by the Ace but the 8 is swallowed up and the 7  is promoted to take the 10th trick.


Robson Random 27

Board 4
West Deals
Both Vul
A K Q 3
8 4 3
K 9 5 4
Q J
10 9 7 5
K 9 7
A J 7 3
K 2
N
WE
S
J 6
A Q J 6 5 2
2
10 6 5 4
8 4 2
10
Q 10 8 6
A 9 8 7 3

EW 3; EW 1N; NS 2; NS 2; NS 1;
Par −140: EW 2+1

WestNorthEastSouth
Pass1 Pass2 
PassPass3 All pass
3  by East
Made 3 — EW +140

East should resist the temptation to make a WJO which will only help the opposition. As they are in spades you are always going to be out gunned, and as you are on lead it is not helping partner. South is hardly likely to pass the 1  opening bid so you will get a chance to protect next time round. Another risk is that you could galvanise you partner into competing to a higher level than necessary.

South leads the 8 to partners Q and returns a trump. Now EW can make a trick in spades via a ruffing finesse. and as the K is well positioned this will become the 9th trick


Robson Random 27

Board 5
North Deals
N-S Vul
K 10 4 2
A Q J 10 8 3
10 4
9
A 8 7
9 7 4
K Q 9 3
7 4 3
N
WE
S
Q 9
6 5
A J 8 6
K J 10 8 6
J 6 5 3
K 2
7 5 2
A Q 5 2

NS 3; NS 3; NS 2N; EW 2; EW 1;
Par +140: NS 3=; NS 3=

WestNorthEastSouth
 1 2 Dbl
2 2 3 Dbl
Pass3 All pass 
3  by North
Made 3 — NS +140

North is too strong to open 2  and in any case it's not a great idea to suppress your chances of finding a spade fit. East has just enough to make a 2  overcall but it is on the edge and now South can bring in the spades by making a negative double. From West's point of view he knows that NS are going to end up winning the auction although it isn't certain at this stage what the contract is going to be. One thing is certain and that is that East is going to be on lead and by bidding diamonds West is going to steer East in the right direction. As it happens East has 4 diamonds so naturally raises to 3 . When a suit has been bid and supported all doubles are for takeout which is what south does, the name for the double in this sequence is an Action double, in other word take action partner. North bids 3  which ends the auction which just makes but would make an overtrick if East leads anything other than a diamond.


Robson Random 27

Board 6
East Deals
E-W Vul
A 10 7 2
A Q 8 5
J 8 5
Q 6
J 8 3
J 6 3 2
A 6 3
9 5 3
N
WE
S
9
K 10 7
K Q 10
A 10 8 7 4 2
K Q 6 5 4
9 4
9 7 4 2
K J

EW 4; NS 2; NS 1N; N 2; EW 1; S 1;
Par −130: EW 4=

WestNorthEastSouth
  1 1 
Pass2 Pass2 
PassPassDblPass
2 NT3 All pass 
3  by South
Down 1 — NS −50

There is a big difference between an overcall at the one level and the two level. Overcalls at the two level must up to strength where as one level calls can be made on virtually anything. West has a very poor hand. True it is virtually certain that East has 5+ clubs but West's hand is not strong enough for a negative double. This emphasises the benefit of South's overcall, if South passes then West can bid 1  and North is kept out of the auction. North can make a UCB (good spade support) and South retreats to 2  showing minimum values. East keeps the bidding alive and makes a protective double, it is rarely right to let the opposition play in a 2 level contract when you hold a singleton in their suit. The 2 NT bid by West is not natural, it is a scramble and sends a message that there are two places to play.


Board 7
South Deals
Both Vul
K 10 9 7
K 9 8 7
6 4 2
A 3
5 2
J 10 3
K Q 8 3
K Q 9 4
N
WE
S
Q 6 4 3
6 2
A 5
J 10 8 7 5
A J 8
A Q 5 4
J 10 9 7
6 2

NS 3N; NS 3; NS 3; NS 2; EW 2;
Par +500: EW 4×−2


Board 8
West Deals
None Vul
A K Q 10
A J 5 2
A 8
A 7 2
6 3
K 10 9 8 6 4
Q
Q 9 8 4
N
WE
S
7 5 4
Q 7 3
7 5 3
K J 6 5
J 9 8 2
K J 10 9 6 4 2
10 3

NS 7N; NS 7; NS 7; EW 1; NS 1;
Par +1520: NS 7N=


Robson Random 27

Board 9
North Deals
E-W Vul
K Q 6 3
K 9 4
K 5 2
A 9 7
9 7 4 2
7 6 5 3 2
Q 6
6 4
N
WE
S
10 8
J 10 8
A J 10 7 3
Q J 2
A J 5
A Q
9 8 4
K 10 8 5 3

N 4N; N 4; N 5; S 3; N 3; S 2N; N 3; S 3; S 2;
Par +430: N 3N+1

WestNorthEastSouth
 1 Pass2 
Pass2 NTPass3 
Pass3 NTAll pass 
3 NT by North
Made 5 — NS +460

The auction described is ACOL and South should bid 2  not 2 . Although it is 80% likely that North has opened with 5 spades there is no rush to bid spades, better to wait until North rebids, and in this case the rebid is 2 NT (15-19). Now South can bid spades in case North has a 5 card suit. But he doesn't so the best contract is found.


Snapdragon Double

Board 10
East Deals
Both Vul
Q 9 7 3 2
Q 3
8 5
A 6 4 3
A 10 8
6 2
9 4 2
K Q 10 8 2
N
WE
S
K 6
K 10 9 8
A Q J 6 3
J 5
J 5 4
A J 7 5 4
K 10 7
9 7

EW 2N; E 3; W 2; EW 2; NS 1;
Par −120: EW 1N+1

WestNorthEastSouth
  1 1 
2 DblPass2 
All pass   
2  by South
Made 3 — NS +140

Board 11
South Deals
None Vul
A Q J 10 7 3
Q J
A 10 6 5 2
K 5 4
6
K 8 7 4
A K J 9 3
N
WE
S
6
A K 10 9 4 3
Q
Q 6 5 4 2
9 8 2
8 7 5 2
J 9 3
10 8 7

W 5N; W 5; E 4; EW 5; NS 3; NS 1;
Par −460: W 5N=


Robson Random 27

Board 12
West Deals
N-S Vul
K 7
A Q J 7 5
A Q J 10 5
Q
Q 9 6 4
8
K
K J 10 9 5 4 3
N
WE
S
A J
K 9 4 2
9 8 7 6 3
A 2
10 8 5 3 2
10 6 3
4 2
8 7 6

EW 5; NS 3; EW 2N; EW 2; N 2; S 1;
Par −400: EW 5=

WestNorthEastSouth
1 2 NTPass3 
Pass4 DblPass
5 DblAll pass 
5 × by West
Made 5 — EW +550

West has a choice between opening 3  or 1 . If you preempt you five up the chance of finding a 4-4 spade fit. There is a more compelling case of opening 3  with a 4 card heart suit. 1  is bottom of the range and 3  is top of the range, but a principle worth following is that if you have to choose between the two bidding at the bottom of the range works out better in the long run. North has the perfect hand for an unusual NT showing the the 2 lowest unbid suits and South bids 3  as preference. A pass followed by a double is always penalties and West with no defensive tricks runs to 5  which makes as long as you lead a heart towards the king whilst you still have an entry to the dummy. Say the Q is lead, declarer winn in hand retaining the A as an entry and plays the 8 hoping to sneak this through to the K for a discard, but North is alive and takes the Ace and bags the A. Now North gets off play with the Q which is ruffed and declarer crosses to the dummy with the carefully preserved A and discards a spade on the K before combing back to hand with another diamond ruff.

When declarer draws the last trump North is in some difficulty with 2 cards in each of the other suits. A red suit discard would seem to set up a length winer for declarer but there aren't enough entries to the dummy to enjoy this outcome so it all boils down to where the K. So North discards a red card and dummy discards from the other red suit. Now when the spade finesse succeeds declarer ruffs the red suit with the length winner and plays another spade felling the King.

More bidding at the five level
5 is for the other side

North has to decide whether to bid 2 or 3 The double jump puts more pressure on the opposition but leads to a more cramped aution if it turns out that the hand belongs to their side. The double by East is neagative. It guarantees 4  or more hearts and should be preferred to showing a minor suit unless there are reserves of strength. I play negative doubles up to 4♥. The second double is not necessarily a command, but particularly in match pointed pairs is pretty much forced. Your side might be making 5  or in this case even 6♣ which works because the cards are lying very favourably. On the flip side several good things may happen with the double. You may not be making 5 or even some other tables may be in 3 so it is important to score 200, i.e. getting the contract doen by 1, or you might be getting the contract down by 3 or more in which case you will do better doubling than making your game.

1,2,3 or 4

When considering what level to open, the suit is relevant. As Spades is top dollar you can always overcall the opposition. On this hand the choice is between opening 1♠  or 4♠  The hand is too strong for 3♠ and far too strong for 2♠. If the suit was hearts instead of spades then there is a good case for opening 4♥. The merit of openng 4♠ is ithat East is leading blind. On the suggested action East is tipped off from leading a diamond and choses a Club.

 

 

 

Pairs V Teams

This hand shows the different tactics between team scoring versus pairs, or more specifically match pointed pairs. North has a tough decision whether to bid or not. 2NT shows 15-18 hcp but especially in teams you can't afford to miss out on the vulnerable bonus of 500. In pairs making plus scores becomes more important so what you don't want to do is exchange a plus score for a minus when 2NT/3NT fails. In the protective position you can downgrade the requirements for a 2NT overcall. In pairs where the overtrick is all important South should look for the 4-4 major fit. In Teams there is no point in painting a picture for the defence and it would be right to bid 3NT.

East will no doubt lead the J and now the only chance is for decalrer to duck this. For sure East is more than likely to have lead from the A  but if South goes up with the K  you are now wide open for a lead through the Q . This does not come without risk, because if East finds the club switch declarer is doomed. Say East continues with a heart now the club becomes very interesting, as after a diamond is lost into the West hand, both defenders will have to come down to 1 club. Whover wins this trick in the end position will have to open up the spade suit which will yield the 9th trick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show up Squeeze

 

There are many beautiful elements to this innocuous hand. Let’s start with East. Only 11 points but an ironclad double with the 4441 shape. Then comes with the 1 bid by South. This bid normally promises a 5-card suit and is 100% forcing, but on this occasion South has only 4 cards. What else can South do. Redouble would show a shortage in clubs, 1NT is an option, as is a Truscott 2NT showing these sorts of values with support in clubs. But this bid takes away unwarranted bidding space so 1 , despite the absence of a  5th card in the suit must be right.

South is put to the test again the next time round. Surely too good for 2♣ , and now 3♣  must be the right bid getting the additional values of the hand across. 

North still has work to do, it sounds as though partner has 11-12hcp - can we sneak 3NT or should we pass the 3♣ for a safe part score. Time for 4th suit forcong. As 3 is the unbid suit it doesn't show the 5431 shape because it is 4th suit forcing. As it happens this is the shape of the hand making the bid but it doesn't necessarily have to be the case.

South can’t bid 3NT without the diamond stop but has to temporise with 3 . 

This is crunch time for North. If the opposition diamonds split 4-4 there is enough outside strength to play3NT. So the question is, does either side have a 5 card diamond suit. It’s unlikely after the double, and with a 5 card diamond suit surely West would have bid 2 over 1♥, but regardless of that with 3 diamonds North should lean toward 3NT. This is the lesson of the hand. North should with 3 cards in the unbid suit try 3NT, on the evidence of the bidding.

How about the play. Well, East will no doubt kick off with a diamond, as it happens the King. After taking the 4 diamond tricks West leads a spade, and a East is marked with the K♠ after the double. So up with the A♠  and now run the clubs. East turns up with a singleton ♣ and is now maked with 4441. You can make the contract by taking the heart finesse, but in fact you don't need to take that risk, because after running the clubs East will have to hang on to the K♠ and come down to the doubleton Q . Technically this is called a show up squeeze.

The Halmic wriggle
The Halmic wriggle

If you like playing ACOL with a weak NT, then it pays to have an escape from the dreaded axe. Clearly weak no trumpers are softer targets then our players from elsewhere so the opportunity to use the wriggle will occur more frequently. There are really only two systems in town, and the choice comes down to how you use the re-double. The Halmic wriggle uses redouble to show a single suited hand. It acts as a sort of transfer, so the opener is duty bound to bid 2♣ after which the responder will correct. This leaves all suit bids to show two suited hands. i.e. the suit bid and a higher suit. So if you 2 you hold diamonds and one of a major.

In the example hand South should double and not bid 2♠ over 1NT, beacuse a bid in preference to a double denies the values to double and would therefore be limited to a maximum of 15 hcp. The bid of 2♣ by West is the start of a wriggle. With a single suited hand West would redouble and East would convert to 2♣. The interesting point with this hand is that West has potentially 3 playable suits, so even with 5 cards in the club suit it is preferable to treat this hand as two suited not single suited.

North's double is for penalties. Conventionally, you should double the opponents when you have 4 of their suit or three very good cards. East re-double is not to play!! It means get me out of here. So West now tries his next suit up the line  - Diamonds. South is just good enough to double this but this allows East - West to find their best resting place of 2♥. South can't double this so bids 2♠ which North converts to game.

In order to bring this contract home declarer has to find a way of getting rid of the diamond loser. There is only one possibile way to do this and that is by utilising the heart suit. After West leads the J  South can pretty well pin poit every card in Easts hand. That he holds the K  is certain and therefore in order to create two tricks in the heart suit a heart must be lead to the Q at the first opportunity. This removes the K  and sets up the  A10 to allow the finesse against the Jack.