Bidrush #3

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Bidrush #3

Bidrush #3

What's your bid (IMPs Scoring)?

5 :clubs: 10 9
4 :spades: 8 3
6 :clubs: 6 1
6 :hearts: 5 1
4 :hearts: 3 2
4 NT 0 0
5 :diamonds: 0 0
6:diamonds: 0 0

Readers were almost equally split between two choices, whilst our expert panel produced a decisive majority for advancing beyond game. In addition to the majority choice, the panel also came up with three other alternative moves towards slam. Although it was the choice of 40% of competition entrants, only two member of the panel were sufficiently depressed by news of partner's singleton opposite their second suit to stop in game, hence the low mark:

BROCK: 4. For me, the splinter denies opening values. I can’t underwrite the five-level so I’ll take the low road. Second choice 4♠, a psychic cue-bid.
BESSIS: 4. I play not very strong direct splinters (about 7-10 HCP), so I could easily find partner with something like Jxx/Qxxxx/x/AQxx, or so many other hands opposite which I could be in grave danger at the five-level. I could also hit a perfecto, with partner having most of his values in spades, but as I don't have room to investigate safely, I prefer to go low.

Brad prefers his splinters to show more...

MOSS: 5♣. I like to play a splinter with no room to cue-bid as showing a good hand, although I certainly understand playing the opposite. 

I think, for most, a splinter is limited to around 9-12 HCP. Even so, everyone else still likes their hand enough to commit beyond game with various degrees of enthusiasm.

FREDIN: 5♣. I feel like I am bidding too much, though.
BIRD: 5♣. At least this is a descriptive try, denying a spade control. If most of the panel signs off in 4, I will have to agree with them.

At the other end of the scale, Wen Fei has much loftier ambitions...

WANG: 5♣. Maybe I am telling the opponents to lead a spade, but maybe we can also make a grand slam, so I want to bid 5♣.

A number of the 5♣ bidders mentioned an alternative possible cue-bid.

BOCCHI: 5♣. A lot depends on whether he has five hearts. Perhaps I should make a spade cue bid: it is very risky, but the world is for brave people.

Norberto Bocchi

ZIA: 5♣. Although, in real life a 4♠ bid may slip out.
VERBEEK: 5♣. Telling them what to lead, but I guess they will probably know that anyhow. Now partner can make the right decision. The alternative would be to lie and bid 4♠.
CHAGAS: 5♣. The honest bid. In my youth I'd probably have bid 4♠…

Although only a sprinkling of panellists, of various ages, did choose the alternative, it received enough mentions from those in the majority to get upgraded in the marking...

BRINK: 4♠. We could make anywhere from ten to thirteen tricks. I know I don't want a spade lead, so I'll take a shot at 6 but, on the way, I'll make a 4♠ cue bid. With a club lead I surely have more chances. 
DE WIJS: 4♠. My hand is good enough for slam and the only worry is my spade suit. Fake cue-bidding seems like the best practical way to a making slam. I will bid slam over partner's next bid (or respond to keycards). Sometimes I suppose I might miss a grand, but at least Zia will like this!

Simon is not the last panelist this month to make a bid with the mercurial Pakistani in mind.

KOKISH: 4♠. Tempting to give up on seven and shoot out 6h, but there is no reason we can’t make seven, or only four, depending on partner’s view of what a one-under splinter should deliver in the side suits. I want partner to like spade honors and I hate to make my first slam try in a short suit without agreement to that effect. If they double 4♠, partner will redouble with the ace and I might know enough soon to help us do the right thing. Besides, if we can blow off the spade lead, how can that be bad? It would be useful to know more about our splinter ranges, especially when the splinter is directly below the trump suit.

Larry has a flight to catch, perhaps. After all, if you are going to blast the slam, can it be wrong to try to deflect the lead with 4♠ first?

COHEN: 6. Science might tip the opening lead. I’d rather blast and live with the occasional loss of the first two or three spade tricks.

Andrew is also plowing a lone furrow, although I am unclear how using up an extra level is an improvement.

ROBSON: 6♣. If you can splinter, partner, so can I. I can hardly stop out of slam given my powerhouse (outside spades). Partner will know AKQx/xxxxx/x/Kxx is a grand. Naturally, this is a bit pushy but when guessing we may as well aim high.

It sounds as it Andrew would cue-bid a singleton at the five-level but intends his jump cue-bid as void-showing. Although heavily outgunned, the conservative bidders were likely to have been right at the table as partner held Axx/98xx/x/AJxxx, so slam was worse than 2-2 trumps as you also needed some luck in diamonds.

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5 comments on “Bidrush #3”
  1. So 4 hearts turns out to be right on the actual hand but gets only 3 points? I thought partner’s splinter in my side suit makes my hand less valuable not more. And partner is likely to have wastage in clubs given the singleton or void in diamonds. So hmph! I was right and get 3 points.

    1. It happens quite often that the actual best bid at the table scores poorly. That suggests a problem with the whole enterprise, doesn't it?

  2. I was really impressed with the 4S bid..! My amateurish bit was 4H but my betters thought that since I have almost all the high cards in H & D my partner will have his in S & C. Some of them bid 4S so that the opposite team NOT LEAD WITH SPADES..!!
    Impressive fake cue-bid..!!