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slam judgement

#1 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-January-18, 07:01

I got this one half right, which was about as effective as getting it completely wrong.



3 was Bergen, showing 8-11 HCP and three card support. After a think I judged slam had a fair chance if partner was not dirt minimum, and after checking we weren't missing two key cards, bid it.

I was right we had a slam on, I just got the suit wrong. There are 11 tricks on top. 6 is cold because the spades provide a heart discard and a heart ruff is the 12th trick. There is no such discard available in 6, so after trying the desparation attempt of running all the black suit winners (which needs South to hold all the red suit honors or North to have Hx in hearts and South holding the rest of the red suit honors, and he would have opened in that case), I went one down, which gave them back the top they had given us on the previous board when they punted a slam going two off.
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#2 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2020-January-18, 07:17

I have sympathy. Finding 4-4 minor suit slam fits is difficult enough at the best of times, especially in the suit which is also reserved for other gadgets like Bergen, Drury, etc. But finding them after establishing a 5-3 fit in a major suit is sometimes impossible except if you are using some form of relay system where bidding will establish the exact layout of each hand.

But realistically, pushing towards slam with the West hand knowing there could be a minimum of just 8 HCPs opposite is asking too much. Partner could have KJx xxx KJxx xxx. Even 4 is in doubt here.
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#3 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-January-18, 07:18

Might want to review Bergen raises. In particular,

  • Whether a raise to 3 promises 3 card support
  • Whether there are better treatments by a passed hand


With respect to the auction

1. Pass is perfectly reasonable with the East hand
2. 1!S is perfectly reasonable with the West hand

I think that West was way too aggressive.

1. 5 losers + 8 losers = 13 losers. 24 - 13 = 11 tricks
2. 17 points + 11 points = 28 points

I readily admit... Both of these rules of thumb are grossly inaccurate, however, they do suggest that checking for Aces and blasting to 6!S could easily lead to a bad score. Here, you are lucky enough to have a double fit, the majority of South's defensive strength is wasted opposite West's stiff and you still can't make slam unless you find the right strain.

Personally, I'd expect this one to start

P - (P) - 1!S - (P)

followed by either 2!C (Drury) or 2NT

I suspect that non relay pairs will have trouble finding 6!C
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#4 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-January-18, 08:11

View PostFelicityR, on 2020-January-18, 07:17, said:

I have sympathy. Finding 4-4 minor suit slam fits is difficult enough at the best of times, especially in the suit which is also reserved for other gadgets like Bergen, Drury, etc. But finding them after establishing a 5-3 fit in a major suit is sometimes impossible except if you are using some form of relay system where bidding will establish the exact layout of each hand.

But realistically, pushing towards slam with the West hand knowing there could be a minimum of just 8 HCPs opposite is asking too much. Partner could have KJx xxx KJxx xxx. Even 4 is in doubt here.


I don't think Bergen is a good idea on a 4-3-3-3 10 loser hand. It is supposed to be a constructive raise, as we play jump raises of a major as pre-emptive. I would bid 2 on that hand.
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#5 User is offline   apollo1201 

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Posted 2020-January-18, 08:30

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-January-18, 07:18, said:

I suspect that non relay pairs will have trouble finding 6!C

Actually not that much especially after the start you suggest
P 1S
2C! 3C natural and slammish otherwise why tell your life to opps who will be defending the hand
After that, E gets really excited and can bid 4C to show enthusiasm about that and the double fit. After routine cues of 4D (to know abit more about the H situation) and 4H, opener can bid 6C himself, as partner can’t have been excited with all points in the reds and without at least SK or CQ.
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#6 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-January-18, 10:41

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-January-18, 07:18, said:


I suspect that non relay pairs will have trouble finding 6!C


Acol works OK, 1-2 natural start
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#7 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2020-January-18, 13:13

Sirs,we dislike Bergen bids for obvious reasons.There may be a slam in the four card suit which responder has but unable to show as in the example above.And we can easily construct hands where responder does not possess the CQJ and even the SK for that matter and have the required HCP in H and D.As is said umpteen times " it is easy to reach a PAR contract when one sees all the 26 cards by using some fresh gadgets to suit the occasion." Why not admit that it is almost impossible to bid 6C on this hand after the 3S response.?.Some may reach 6S on an aggressive auction.THANX.







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#8 User is offline   KingCovert 

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Posted 2020-January-18, 20:53

View PostAL78, on 2020-January-18, 07:01, said:

I got this one half right, which was about as effective as getting it completely wrong.



3 was Bergen, showing 8-11 HCP and three card support.


Except, Bergen raises don't show 3 card support. And, for good reason. That's one hell of a waste of bidding room to show 3 card support.
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#9 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 00:44

View PostKingCovert, on 2020-January-18, 20:53, said:

Except, Bergen raises don't show 3 card support. And, for good reason. That's one hell of a waste of bidding room to show 3 card support.

While Marty Bergen raises might show 4 card support, Edgar Bergen raises can be made on 2 or 3 card support.
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#10 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 01:24

View PostAL78, on 2020-January-18, 07:01, said:

I got this one half right, which was about as effective as getting it completely wrong.



3 was Bergen, showing 8-11 HCP and three card support. After a think I judged slam had a fair chance if partner was not dirt minimum, and after checking we weren't missing two key cards, bid it.

I was right we had a slam on, I just got the suit wrong. There are 11 tricks on top. 6 is cold because the spades provide a heart discard and a heart ruff is the 12th trick. There is no such discard available in 6, so after trying the desparation attempt of running all the black suit winners (which needs South to hold all the red suit honors or North to have Hx in hearts and South holding the rest of the red suit honors, and he would have opened in that case), I went one down, which gave them back the top they had given us on the previous board when they punted a slam going two off.

Sir the responders hand has NINE losers 2S,2H,3D 2C.Assuming a normal 7 losers hand with the opener 9 plus 7=16 and subtracting from 18 the result is =2. 2S ,in my personal opinion, is the bid on this hand.However,openers hand has 5 losers so 18 minus five and minus 9 is equal to 4. So 4S is the limit of these hands .And even if we deduct one loser from West hand as it has a 4 card suit headed by AK and 7 Controls still we get the answer as 5.So even with corrected LTC the limit of the hand is 5S only if played in Spades.The responders hand ,I feel, is not worth a raise to 3 spades with a flat 3334 hand with no quickly establishable Club suit and no ruffing values.It is a hand more suitable for a NT contract and if playing Precision the bid would be a forcing 1NT (of course W will open 1C (16+ any)on the given hand.). You were very lucky to find the exact cards necessary for the slam.
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#11 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 01:37

View Postapollo1201, on 2020-January-18, 08:30, said:

Actually not that much especially after the start you suggest
P 1S
2C! 3C natural and slammish otherwise why tell your life to opps who will be defending the hand
After that, E gets really excited and can bid 4C to show enthusiasm about that and the double fit. After routine cues of 4D (to know abit more about the H situation) and 4H, opener can bid 6C himself, as partner can’t have been excited with all points in the reds and without at least SK or CQ.


When I suggested a 2!C response, I was assuming that 2!C was Drury not natural
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#12 User is online   sfi 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 03:32

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-January-19, 01:37, said:

When I suggested a 2!C response, I was assuming that 2!C was Drury not natural

So was apollo, unless I'm misreading the post you quoted. The posited auction is:

1S - 2C*
3C - 4C
4D - 4H
6C - Pass

Nice auction. Opener isn't sure that pitches on the spades will be useful, but it should be at least as good as 6S.
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#13 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 04:10

View PostKingCovert, on 2020-January-18, 20:53, said:

Except, Bergen raises don't show 3 card support. And, for good reason. That's one hell of a waste of bidding room to show 3 card support.


It was my partner who wanted to play this convention. She claims 1M - 3 is 8-11 HCP with 3 card support, and 1M - 3 is 7-10 HCP with 4 card support (where 1M is a 5 card major).
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#14 User is offline   nudnikbp 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 06:22

The East hand has so many losers that I'd just bid 2S over 1S and would miss the club slam.
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#15 User is offline   apollo1201 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 08:28

View Postsfi, on 2020-January-19, 03:32, said:

So was apollo, unless I'm misreading the post you quoted. The posited auction is:

1S - 2C*
3C - 4C
4D - 4H
6C - Pass

Nice auction. Opener isn't sure that pitches on the spades will be useful, but it should be at least as good as 6S.

Thanks. I was indeed thinking of it as Drury. I used a ! to suggest it was conventional but I can see you use *. Is there an « official » sign for conventional bids?
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#16 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 14:49

View PostKingCovert, on 2020-January-18, 20:53, said:

Except, Bergen raises don't show 3 card support. And, for good reason. That's one hell of a waste of bidding room to show 3 card support.


Actually, and always IMO, it's kind of dumb to restrict these raises to 4-card support when all you have to do is add compensating high-card strength to 3-card support, so you either have 8-10 with 4-card supports or a solid 11-12 with 3-card support.
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#17 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 14:58

View PostAL78, on 2020-January-19, 04:10, said:

It was my partner who wanted to play this convention. She claims 1M - 3 is 8-11 HCP with 3 card support, and 1M - 3 is 7-10 HCP with 4 card support (where 1M is a 5 card major).


Bergen doesn't apply to passed hands. Most who play Bergen raises use Drury or reverse Drury. Bergen as originally written was 4-card support only, whether the bid was 3-clubs(constructive) 3-diamonds (limit) or 3-of-the-major (weak).

I wrote an article back in the late 1990s for Bridge World that added 3-card support to the limit raises of Bergen as long as the additional high card strength accompanied the bid, and I switched the meaning of 3-of-the-major back to an old-fashioned 3-card raise forcing so responder didn't have to force in a 4-card suit. Unless your partner was one of the 2-3 people who read that article and adopted my suggestions :P then Bergen raises would always have 4 pieces of trump.
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#18 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 17:06

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-January-19, 14:58, said:

Bergen doesn't apply to passed hands. Most who play Bergen raises use Drury or reverse Drury. Bergen as originally written was 4-card support only, whether the bid was 3-clubs(constructive) 3-diamonds (limit) or 3-of-the-major (weak).

I wrote an article back in the late 1990s for Bridge World that added 3-card support to the limit raises of Bergen as long as the additional high card strength accompanied the bid, and I switched the meaning of 3-of-the-major back to an old-fashioned 3-card raise forcing so responder didn't have to force in a 4-card suit. Unless your partner was one of the 2-3 people who read that article and adopted my suggestions :P then Bergen raises would always have 4 pieces of trump.


Having done a bit of online research, the version of Bergen my partner plays is not standard. The original Bergen has 3 as equivalent to a sound single raise with four card support, and 3 as an invitational raise with 4 card support. Presumably with invitational values and three card supporrt, you bid a new suit then support at the three level. I will have to ask where she got her version from.
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#19 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 19:18

AL78 "I got this one half right, which was about as effective as getting it completely wrong.,3 was Bergen, showing 8-11 HCP and three card support. After a think I judged slam had a fair chance if partner was not dirt minimum, and after checking we weren't missing two key cards, bid it.I was right we had a slam on, I just got the suit wrong. There are 11 tricks on top. 6 is cold because the spades provide a heart discard and a heart ruff is the 12th trick. There is no such discard available in 6, so after trying the desparation attempt of running all the black suit winners (which needs South to hold all the red suit honors or North to have Hx in hearts and South holding the rest of the red suit honors, and he would have opened in that case), I went one down, which gave them back the top they had given us on the previous board when they punted a slam going two off."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Lack of duplication allows EW to make 6. At the table, we would bid
_P - 1 - 2(Drury) - 4. End

Hence, the suggested auction on the left is rather contrived but illustrates 2 Interesting ideas ..

DRURY 2:: When we play 2// opener =WEAK, after P - 1M - ?? we agree ...
- 2 = ART. Drury. .Max pass 3 + support.
- 2 = NAT, Would have opened 2=WEAK had it been available

SIX-KEY ASK when you have a double fit. Reply steps: e.g. after 4N = ASK
- 5=1/4,
- 5=0/3/6,
- 5=2/5,
- 5=2/5+Q.,
- 5N =2/5 + 2Qs.

With the black suits agreed, after say 4N - 5(1/4) - 5(Key Q?) -
- 5 = 1 Key Q + K (improvising in as natural a way as possible)
- 5 = No key Q.
- 5N = 1 Key Q.
- 6 = 2 Key Qs: Q + Q.



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#20 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 20:41

View PostAL78, on 2020-January-19, 17:06, said:

Having done a bit of online research, the version of Bergen my partner plays is not standard. The original Bergen has 3 as equivalent to a sound single raise with four card support, and 3 as an invitational raise with 4 card support. Presumably with invitational values and three card supporrt, you bid a new suit then support at the three level. I will have to ask where she got her version from.

With 3 card trump support and limit raise strength, you initially respond 1NT forcing, and then rebid 3 of the major to show that hand.
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