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returning to the game - can someone explain the auctions? including slam bids and NT auction

#1 User is offline   mikl_plkcc 

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Posted 2021-July-30, 06:09

I haven't played bridge for a few years already and yesterday I made my first return after I emigrated to the UK, and I got a few interesting hands I wanted to discuss. I had not got a regular partner here yet and I was assigned one by the host, and agreed to play 15-17 1NT. The scoring was MP pairs with separate NS/EW scoring. I sat in the N seat.
Board 3:


I doubled as I guessed my partner wouldn't have any spades. Was that a good idea? We ended defeating them and got a top but the other doubled table had the contract made resulted in a bottom.

Board 4:


We didn't find our game in . Were we just unlucky? If I switched to a 4-card major should I open 1 or 1?

Board 6:


As I didn't want to play in , I bid 2 wanting my partner to choose another suit. Was I correct or should I directly bid 2NT on my own? We ended up 2NT+3 gaining a top but the few tables who bid 3NT all went -1.

Board 8:


We ended up 2= getting 5/14 MPs. I thought my 2 bid might be a mistake and I should X the overcall instead, am I right? All other tables played weak 1NT and opened 1NT which normally ended up 2NT=, outperforming our 2=.

Board 9:

We ended up 4-1, the only table not making the contract.

I was the declarer, the lead was 6, I played 3 from the dummy. The defender returned another and ruffed. I took the third trick in , passed to the dummy using a to set up a finesse of K but it failed. If I immediately drew trumps using an A, the contract would be made. Was it bad play or bad luck?

Board 11:



I responded 3 and my partner immediately bid 4, which I took it as slam interest. However my hand didn't have any interest to say (was I correct) and I wanted to stop him at 4, but despite every effort my partner raised to 6 and the result was the only slam bid and made across the field. All other tables went 1-1 at the beginning, stopped the bidding at 4 and made either 11 or 12 tricks.

When I started to learn bridge, I learnt to use 1-3 as a limit raise and 1-4 as a preemptive raise.

Questions here:
  • Is 1H-3H commonly played as a limit raise nowadays in the UK?
  • Is this hand slam-worthy?


Board 14:


As my hand was garbage, I suspect the opponents might have a game on so I bid 3 to silence them. We ended up 4-2 getting a shared top (13/14 MPs). If I didn't bid 3 at that moment, a fit would be found by the opponents.

Was my bid of 3 appropriate if I normally played limit raise?

Thank you for explaining all these to me.
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#2 User is offline   apollo1201 

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Posted 2021-July-30, 09:05

Welcome back to the game. Lots of questions but from what you did and suspect would be better, you seem to have not lost too much during those idle years!

1st hand - X is ok, provided (and that is the most important part of the sentence) 4C was game forcing. Then passing the 4S bid would mean partner, I am glad if you bid on, but am not alone sufficently strong or distributed to do so. While X says I am rather defending this than bidding on offense to make a contract, leave this if your hand is flat but bid on only if you think you can make. So it is not pure penalty. Here, the hand is mixed feelings, you have a sg in partner's suit and 3 small in opps, but the rest of the hand is quite nice, with a good honor structure and not minimal. Actually, I think I’d pass, but with the limited agreements you had with partner, and also not sure how weak 4C might be, it was probably safer to X. Given some pairs made 10 tricks in S, maybe partner shouldn’t have left the X.

2nd hand: partner must X then all is plain sailing after that. So it is not an unlucky board, it is 100% on them.

3rd hand: you got lucky because facing a passed hand, I’d have left partner in 2D (figure out a hand such as xx xx AQJxxx Hxx)

4th hand - like hand #2, X is better, partner will bid 1NT and make lots of tricks. In all cases, fitting with just 3-cd is bad

5th hand - the duck is unnecessary in 99.9% of the cases, and the lead in dummy’s advertised long side suit should have immediately rung a suspicious bell

6th hand - partner ate a lion at lunch, the hand is worth a slam try for sure but driving there alone…the good bid is probably at some stage a « mini Joséphine » trump ask, ie bid slam with 2 of AKQ (knowing you don’t have DK, at MPs it is not a slam you want to be if there is also a losing trump trick)

7th hand - your opps were very keen; you were lucky because I’d want a sg with such a rubbish hand to preempt, the downside being partner will bid 4 with a good hand and get Xed with nothing making their way, or may even compete to 5H over 4S, expecting something useful in your hand, and lose 500 while aiming 100 or 300 against 420
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#3 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2021-July-30, 10:34

Board 3 - you have 3 QT so probably worth a X with partner bidding 4, but it could go either way if left in
Board 4 - X as appollo1201
Board 6 - I'd have taken 2 as supportive of so 2NT for me
Board 8 - I don't bid 2 with 3[card] support. X to show ; partner could have 4
Board 9 - as appollo1201
Boar 11 - I now use both 1-3/4 as pre-emptive, but originally learnt 1-3 as a 4-card limit raise with 1-4 being either pre-emptive 5 card or a 4 card distributional raise.
Definitely worthy of a slam try & even the grand if you weren't flat. I base any attempt on the combined modified loosing trick count which is well within bounds assuming you don't bid as per Board 14.
Personally I'd start off showing the control, with 4 then showing at least 1 of the top 3 honours. I'd bid 3NT otherwise.
Board 14 - see Board 11.
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#4 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-July-30, 12:08

Most has been said already. To add a little bit to the comments above:

On board 3 partner is a passed hand, so I expect a 4-card heart suit with club strength on the side. This means your hearts are worth less on defence (but it will be fine if partner leads towards them) but your diamonds and ace of clubs are gold. I would double and expect the opponents to not have a source of tricks. Try to play a spade at every opportunity.

On board 11: (I don't live in the UK, so take all of this with a grain of salt) most strong pairs I know play this jump as a 'mixed raise' (around 6-9 points with 4(+) hearts), and the rest plays it as preemptive (2-5 points with 4(+) hearts). I think if you want to play this as an invitational raise it more commonly promises a fourth heart. I think you were right to sign off over both slam tries, and your partner should not have bid the slam.

Board 14: the double drastically changes the situation, and I think this is not at all similar to the previous deal. Your jump was very aggressive, especially at matchpoints. I would typically expect around a king more for this bid. If your partner is happy with wide-ranged preemptive auctions this is a good way to create some swing boards, but I'd be hesitant to spring it on an unsuspecting partner. As a side-note: how would you have shown an invitational raise in hearts over the double?
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