Saturday, July 3, 2010

PP 2nd Final Board 13

Board 13
Dlr N
Vul Both

♠ K 10 6 2
J 9 2
7 6 5 4 3
♣ J
♠ 7 5 3♠ A 8 4
10 6 3A 8 4
A K Q10
♣ K 6 3 2♣ A Q 8 7 5 4
♠ Q J 9
K Q 7 5
J 9 8 2
♣ 10 9

All Pass


2♦ was a 4 card raise, only forcing to 2NT. (In retrospect, maybe 2♥ showing an invitational 2NT bid would have been better -- Andy.)
3♦ is apparently a bid without a formal agreement, but we both thought it showed a singleton.  Stressing about this probably led to two poorly judged bids:

4♣:  not clear we have 4NT safety.
5♣: I was maybe worried that 4♦ had been naturalish, but really I have a natural 4NT available and should bid it.

11 easy tricks in either strain.  +600 was 3.5 instead of 10.5 for 660.

[Andy]  This kind of result is one of the hidden costs of conventions.  Even when you remember them correctly, you spend all your mental energy trying to figure out if you've remembered rather than on the critical judgment questions most relevant to the hand.

Another interesting anecdote on this hand: More and more players are playing transfer responses over 1♣, in which case the auction starts 1♣-1♠-2♣. Given the situation I feel like the best choice at that point might just be to invite with 3♣, but if you feel like you need to game force with the hand, you have an impossible problem. 2♦ at this point would typically show a natural suit. So it seems that several experts at this point found themselves bidding 2 of a major (whichever one for whatever reason), which is pretty ugly. At at least one table the auction got confused enough that the experts also managed to wander into 5♣ rather than 3NT.


  1. With regards to responding 1♠ (transfer), why would you do this in preference to an inverted club raise with a game forcing hand?

    This is just too bizarre to believe!

  2. Most players who play transfer responses also play that 1♣ shows 2+, so they can't really raise with only 4.

    Even outside of that though, "transfer to NT" seems like a pretty reasonable way to bid this 4333 hand...

  3. I'm not a big fan of conventions in situations like these. Surely, strong club systems have their merits but I personally prefer good old ACOL. In pairs, bidding 1C-3NT would be effective. At imps, why not take the time to use inverted minors and bid stops to figure out if it should be 3NT or 5C?

  4. The players under discussion don't play inverted minors. We used 2D for that bid, and did try to have a sensible auction to choose between 3N/5C, we just botched it.

    Those that play xfer responses start with 1S (denying both majors) with good minor raises.