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When 5332 meets 3334

 

zapple

 

    A few years ago, when I played at pogo, a rubber bridge site, I didn’t know sayc or 2/1. What I played was a pogo standard strong 2, a very simple system.  Rubber bridge is exciting, and I played many impressive rubbers there. But what impressed me most is a  very simple hand. Without any interference our bidding went like this 1S-2S-3S-3NT, and partner passed 3NT with some hesitation.  Nothing to play, 9 top tricks always, no more, no less. So partner claimed 9 tricks happily. And if the contract was 4s, declarer could have also claimed, but sadly, 9 tricks also -- because an even 5332 met his ugly partner, 3334.  If you have a considerate partner, bridge is so simple and enjoyable. Otherwise, bridge is dull and meaningless.

Later I went to swan to play duplicate bridge and sayc there. I tried to bid and play a little bit different from others, a so-called creative bridge.  And it worked most times. Bridge is a probability game. If you consider more than others, you have more chance to succeed. My favorite contract in swan is, undoubtedly 3NT.

From April 2004 onwards, I have been playing at BBO regularly.  At the beginning my 2/1 bidding was very lousy. Fortunately I met Aihua here, who is a very displined and experienced 2/1 player and later become my regular BBO partner. We played some wonderful hands together, which I won’t disclose here. What I want to discuss here, is something needs refinement.

VUL: None.  Jx  
Tx
JT9xxx
Qxx Kxx  KT9xx
Axx Qxx
Qxx AKx
AQxx Axx xx
  KJ9xx   
x
JT9x
叫牌过程:
西
      P
1C P 1S  P 
1NT P 2D P 
2S P 4S P 
P P     
       
       
       

The bidding looks quite normal. Without interference I opened a 2nd hand 1C. Partner responded with 1S  and I rebidded 1NT,  followed by a check back stayman. Finally, we arrived at a quite normal but nearly hopeless (from double dummy point) 4S. South led his single diamond, which went to DK and Aihua chose to finesse club immediately after some pause. The finesse failed, followed by a diamond ruf. Later she chose to finesse the wrong side S10 and contract went down 3.

On the bidding: The bidding looks flawless to most players at first glance. However, it is too normal to me. East had 12 points (which to me is a normal 12 points and Aihua claimed to be a good 12 points, hehe). In my view, 12 points are not enough to force to game in modern bridge, because in these days people open lightly a lot. I myself open with 12 pts whatever and good 11 pts.  So I prefer a sincere invitation of 2NT here  (either bid it directly over 1NT or invite after check back stayman). In either case, I would have bidded 3NT with 3334 because I  am a 3NT-philia. Which might be passed considering east had xx in partner’s opening suit (club might not necessarily be a suit, but anyway that  suit  was taken to be stopped). 3NT would have been an excellent contract and  been made with a normal correct guess of spade jack.

On the play: Quite bad luck, isn’t it? However, the play is a little coarse here. I guess such a line of play is due to the fact that she wanted to delay the guess of SJ. However, since no opponent competed, there was no clue to guess SJ (In fact, 1 point card is difficult to guess in any case). Since dummy is 4333, opponents would never have helped you to guess by leading a trump back. The only clue, if it is,  is that if north had sj and 4 trumps, u might still hold s loser to 1 trick.  However if south had SJ and 4 trumps, you might not. So it is correct to play North holding SJ.

Now comes the 2nd problem, how to play the club suit.

If you guessed SJ wrongly, you had 2 losers in spade. You have at least 1 loser in heart, so you have to play club loser as 0.

On the other hand, if you guessed SJ correctly, you can afford to lose 1 club. So, a better play is to cash CA first and then finesse the club Q. This line would have succeeded with some extra chance: if North held single CK. This way u have better chance to set 2 club winners.

 There is some other way of playing club suit for 2 winners. Personally, I prefer to play a small club from dummy to hand if there is no entry problem. Such a play would succeed if North held KX in clubs. In case of KXX, it is still a serious test to defense. This line needs delicate sequence and cannot be tested for this hand, however, because SOUTH has no diamond to return at trick 4. Either a heart (what you hoped but unlikely) or a club return.  4S-1 is normal for this hand.

Conclusions:

  1. When 5332 meets 3334, NT is the primary consideration.

  2. A normal 12 points are not good enough to force game in modern bridge.

  3. Try to play differently and think of some extra chances in bridge.

2004/05/04

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