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freak hand, teams

#1 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 03:02

This freak hand came up at the club random teams evening, against the strongest pair in the room (I was West).



This was 12 imps out when it went for 800. Teammates defended 5X one off (North didn't play South's heart lead as a singleton, so diodn't give her a ruff). How should this have gone at our table?
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#2 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 04:07

Strange that South didn't bid on the second round. I certainly would have pulled 4X to 4. Partner has no way of knowing that you are 7510. The s are the stronger suit.
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#3 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 06:41

View PostFelicityR, on 2019-October-31, 04:07, said:

Strange that South didn't bid on the second round.


Also strange that North didn't bid on the second round with four-card support for partner's suit and four cards in the unbid major!

In my view the East spade holding is very playable opposite a singleton and I would not even mention the heart suit.
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#4 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 08:02

View PostAL78, on 2019-October-31, 03:02, said:

How should this have gone at our table?

First of all the N-S bidding is a little unusual. Most Souths would prefer to open 1 and most Norths would respond to 1 with 1 rather than 1. I assume that is not the real question though.

East's call highlights a subject I brought up in your previous thread, separating out the constructive from the competitive as much as possible. East here does not really have a constructive hand, rather it is a low-hcp, high-ODR type and should be shown as such. The hand can be sold in 2 ways, either as a 2-suiter or as a spade 1-suiter. If selling the hand as a 2-suiter then we get a little into system. The easy way of showing a high-ODR 2-suited hand is with 2NT. Some players also use their cues or jump cues to show 2-suited hands with a strong preference for a particular suit. If playing this particular wrinkle then it makes selling the hand as a 2-suiter much more appealing since the spade preference can be shown at the same time (for example by bidding 2, 3 or 4).

Assuming that the last option is not in play, there is much more to be said for preferring to sell the hand as 1-suited. This should imho not be done with a simple 1 overcall but by bidding 2, 3 or 4. The advantage of 2 would be that you can sometimes follow up with 4, thus acting as a compromise between the 1 and 2-suited ideas. 4 on the other hand applies maximum pressure to the opps and puts us immediately in the most likely resting spot. 3 is something of a compromise and would probably indicate that the player wanted to call 4 but was too scared.

The truth is that there is rarely a single right answer for 7-5 hands. If 4 were available to show essentially precisely this hand then that would be ideal. Absent such an agreement there are arguments for several other options. With a pick up partner I would personally call 4 and thereafter be completely silent. Change a spade into a minor suit card and I would go down to 2 instead. Change the K into the K and I would risk 2NT unless partner was a complete beginner who might think that UNT always had to include a minor suit.

Exactly where the boundaries occur here is more a matter of taste than a precise science. Hands like this tend to generate much discussion but are ultimately not particularly helpful in bringing a pair further. Some checklist guidelines though that might be helpful:-

1. Do I want partner to bid constructively if max or do we just want to cause as much obstruction as possible?
2. How likely is it that the opps have game? or slam?
3. What is the main feature of my hand? How often do I want partner to give preference to my second suit?
4. What are my holdings in the opps' suit(s)? (xxx is often the absolutely worst holding)
5. Related to #4, how offensive is my hand? This is often referred to as the ODR (Offensive to Defensive Ratio).
6. How many Playing Tricks (PTs) does my hand realistically have?
7. What is the vulnerability. In terms of contract level you can (finger in the air) take your PTs and add 2 for Vulnerable, 3 for Love All and 4 for Green until you get a better for things.

I know I am missing some key elements here but I'll stop at this point and let others improve the checklist if they want to. What I really want to infer on you is not to worry about a specific freak hand as a single data point but rather to see freaks more generally with an emphasis on getting across the primary characteristics as quickly as possible while applying maximum pressure to the opps. It is the mentality that matters more than the specific sequence chosen.
(-: Zel :-)
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#5 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 08:09

Yours is the only bidding I can understand here.
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#6 User is offline   KingCovert 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 09:12

Actually, it entirely depends on agreements how much of this bidding makes sense.

The 1D call by North is probably mandatory with that hand. It's a long diamond suit with the ability to correct to clubs over a 1S response. If 1C doesn't deny a diamond holding (perhaps ACOL?) then it's just correct. When partner does bid 1H, your hand grows up into a game forcing hand. No question about that.

I don't agree with 1S, I think enough has been said about that already, but to not bid 4S over 1NT is just dumb.

1NT better never contain a void, it is usually a doubleton, but singleton is all we need. That East hand is not really constructive as others have said. But you've found your best fit with the 1NT call, and the only call now is 4S.

Probably would have gone undoubled. Opponents may be brave enough to play 5D. Hard to say. If South had the spade void, I'd definitely say 4S wouldn't buy the contract.

But... South is sitting on that spade suit, and they're the one with the conceiled diamonds. The temptation to defend is probably too strong. Apparently, even though it's against that strongest pair, 4S is going to make too.
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#7 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 12:08

View PostKingCovert, on 2019-October-31, 09:12, said:

But... South is sitting on that spade suit, and they're the one with the conceiled diamonds. The temptation to defend is probably too strong. Apparently, even though it's against that strongest pair, 4S is going to make too.


If the strongest pair find the heart ruff then 4S is not going to make, but they would still be better off making their own game in diamonds although I agree that is a tough call. I understand their natural agreements, but I don't see why South was silent on the second round when he knows they have a sure diamonds fit, a near-sure clubs fit and cross-ruffs in the majors.
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#8 User is offline   KingCovert 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 13:23

View Postpescetom, on 2019-October-31, 12:08, said:

If the strongest pair find the heart ruff then 4S is not going to make, but they would still be better off making their own game in diamonds although I agree that is a tough call. I understand their natural agreements, but I don't see why South was silent on the second round when he knows they have a sure diamonds fit, a near-sure clubs fit and cross-ruffs in the majors.


Oh yeah, it definitely doesn't make, I was just trying to allude to the fact that 4 would have made at the other table, if it was played, given the defense it received there. (5X-1 was the result)

Well, I think South is rather rational to be silent here. There isn't any real danger of 1 being passed out. The real question is, how are the spades distributed? If RHO has 5, and you have 4, and LHO has 1, don't you really like the prospect of defending 1NTx? Is there any particular reason why NS has any more than 19-20 HCP on the auction? I feel like a lot of these auctions go 1NT by LHO with 4 hearts and 5 clubs, hearts are breaking 4441 around the table (since partner didn't bid 1H), and this looks pretty ugly for EW on most auctions.

It just so happens that this deal has an East hand with 7-5 in the majors, but that's hardly probable on this auction so far. Most the time on this auction, opponents have absolutely no fit (from South's perspective), or at least not a good one, and if a 2H bid comes from West, the only question is going to be, "How high do opponents get before I put the double card on the table?" If opponents happen to find a huge heart fit, well, pretty sure your hand just grows up immensely at that point. The more hearts they have, the more cards in the minors North has. The only problem here is, who is on lead, and is West void in spades?

You don't really *want* to allow them to find a heart fit... But, truthfully though, there is no call you can make to prevent them from finding a heart fit if West is holding 5 hearts and is willing to bid them. I mean, what are the candidate bids? Some amount of diamonds I assume. Surely not 5. 4 makes no sense. Does 3 ever prevent West from bidding 3 with some 7 HCP hand and 5 hearts on such an auction? EDIT: I guess 2 is an option?
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#9 User is offline   neilkaz 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 13:29

East should be shot for not pulling this to his very good 7 card suit.
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#10 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2019-November-02, 13:08

Well, at least then he can't be expected to learn to pull in these situations.
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#11 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2019-November-02, 14:37

I've just noticed that 5 might make on the layout. Surprisingly the 4-0 offside diamond break actually helps declarer, as East has the singleton club but cannot ruff, and declarer can knock out the ace, cash clubs and set up a massive cross ruff. I'm not sure if West can lead trumps enough to get it down, maybe not if East is on lead. I might put it into Deep Finesse and check.
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#12 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-November-02, 15:37

View PostAL78, on 2019-November-02, 14:37, said:

I've just noticed that 5 might make on the layout. Surprisingly the 4-0 offside diamond break actually helps declarer, as East has the singleton club but cannot ruff, and declarer can knock out the ace, cash clubs and set up a massive cross ruff. I'm not sure if West can lead trumps enough to get it down, maybe not if East is on lead. I might put it into Deep Finesse and check.


Sure 5 can make, on plenty of layouts including this one, as inferred in my post above. But kingcovert may well be right about South's difficult decision all the same.
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#13 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2019-November-08, 03:41

View Postneilkaz, on 2019-October-31, 13:29, said:

East should be shot for not pulling this to his very good 7 card suit.

I think East should be shot if he did pull. So, I hope we don't get this hand if we ever play together.

Rik
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#14 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-November-08, 13:24

Freaks are always difficult, and what works on one hand fails on another.

What would I have done as East? I think it is close but I prefer 4S at my first call. We can anticipate problems with this hand. Our shape and relative lack of hcp means that there is a reasonable chance that South will rebid clubs or raise diamonds over 1S, and now we get into the worst of all worlds: we let the opps exchange info re size and shape at a low level and then have to decide whether to compete further, usually with no clue from partner (if he can squeak out a spade raise, great, but that is surely against the odds).

Yes, 4S removes hearts from the equation, but that is not always bad...witness the real world result at the other table....if East doesn't bid spades, it is difficult, if not impossible, for North to read the lead. Meanwhile, applying maximal pressure in situations where one is uncertain about the best strategy is often, indeed usually, the best strategy anyway.

Ok, if west has 0=4=4=5 or the like, we will regret not showing hearts, but even then, we may well make 4S! Defence is tough, and even tougher when declarer has concealed assets.

As for pulling 4H x to 4S: it's easy to result, but the big mistake was by north, who knows the opps have 9-10 spades. He got rich, but the double doesn't rate to generate 800, not when he gives away the heart situation.
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