Bidrush #4

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Bidrush #4

Bidrush #4

What's your bid (IMPs Scoring)?

4 :hearts: 10 7
4 :diamonds: 9 7
3 :clubs: 7 1
4 :spades: 4 1
5 :diamonds: 1 0
3 :spades: 0 0
3 :hearts: 0 0
2:hearts: 0 0
4 :clubs: 0 0
3 :diamonds: 0 0
PASS 0 0

Although no single action attracted a majority, most panelists score highly as it turned out to be almost a straight two-way bun fight. Do we agree partner's spade suit via a 4 splinter bid or jump to game in our own seven-card suit and ignore the support for partner? Let's hear from the optimists first...

WANG: 4. I do not have a bid to show 7+4♠, so 4 is my first choice.

A couple do not sound overly convinced by their choice...

BROCK: 4. With misgivings. I’d much prefer not to lock us into spades but I'm not sure how to avoid doing so.
FREDIN: 4. I feel like I am bidding too much here as well. It might also play much better in hearts.
ROBSON: 4. Yes, the hand may play better in hearts; but it may not. ♠AK9x is a very powerful holding indeed, control-wise.

But, it was the allure of a possible slam bonus that tipped the scales for some.

BRINK: 4. We might have a slam. There is something to be said for bidding 4: if my hand is forced to ruff early, you might be short of tricks in 4♠, whereas 4 is very likely to make. Despite this, I don't want to give up on slam so I have to start with a splinter.

Zia sums up the dilemma succinctly...

ZIA: 4. An impossible problem. If it is a game hand, 4 will be best, but if we belong in slam then 4 is more likely to get us there. As I always think of grand slams, I have to start with a splinter. Unfortunately, we may belong in hearts even in slam.

For a change, an accurate prediction. Do the 4 bidders make a more convincing argument for their choice?

DE WIJS: 4. Granted, this looks weird. However, with silent opponents at this vulnerability, I think partner is likely to have diamond length/strength. Therefore I'm not entertaining slam possibilities and 4 will often be a better contract than 4♠.
CHAGAS: 4: Even if partner has five spades, getting to dummy to cash our heart winners could be very awkward if they lead diamonds early.

Larry Cohen

COHEN: 4. Since partner is a passed hand, slam is unlikely. Let’s play the game that rates to handle easier. Even a 7-0 heart fit might be better than a 4-4 spade fit. Imagine QJxx/--/Qxxx/Axxxx opposite, for example. You just lose a couple of high trumps and perhaps a spade ruff in hearts, but ten tricks in spades will be a struggle.

A couple of our elder statesmen recall how we used to bid these hands.

BIRD: 4. Ancient text-books told us that this sequence must show some spade support, since otherwise you would have opened with a Strong 2. That inference is no longer valid with everyone playing weak two openings, of course. Even so, Reese had strong views on playing in the long suit with 7-4 shape. Who am I to disagree with him?
KOKISH: 4. I used to play a 3NT rebid to indicate 4s and 6+ strong hearts, usually with no side-suit honours, but this hand doesn’t quite meet the requirements for a pet treatment of that ilk. Indeed it’s popular these days to use the 3NT rebid as 3♠ and 6/7. As the hearts may be of no value if trumps are 4-1 in spades, particularly if the ♣K is not an entry, I’ll settle for the bid that best offers the chance to keep control. In old-fashioned Acol 4 implies a spade fit, FWIW.

Thomas sums up for this group.

BESSIS: 4. I am aware that I may even be able to make a spade grand slam opposite as little as, say, QJxxxx/--/Jxxxx/Ax. However, I think 4 will very often be a better contract than 4♠, and this is probably my last and only chance to play in hearts. As partner is a passed hand, I believe my chances to win a swing by playing 4 rather than 4♠ are higher than the odds of reaching a good slam.

The top score always goes to the bid chosen by most members of the panel. With seven panellists choosing each of the two popular options on this deal, the 10 marks goes to the faction with the stronger argument and the other group will have to settle for 9/10. High marks for most of the panel then, but not so for many readers. This option, chosen by a significant minority of readers, but only one panellist, seems to get the worst of both worlds...

BOCCHI: 4♠.  Perhaps 4 is an alternative, but it depends on the style of play

One of our Dutch world champions tries to keep all of her options open...

VERBEEK: 3♣. Probably it is better to play in hearts than in spades. To try to find out, I start with a fantasy bid.

Indeed, perhaps partner will tell you something useful such as showing some heart support, for example? Now you may think that is a fantasy when you hold this hand, but he might well have done exactly that as he held 10xxx/Qx/xxx/AQJx. Reaching the best contract (6) is very tough, but even game in spades had to be carefully handled on repeated diamond leads (South was 1-2-5-5 shape with the A, so there was no spade ruff against hearts). Close to half of the readers scored 9/10 on this deal, but there were a remarkable twelve different actions chosen, many of them huge underbids. Very few considered the top-scoring bid, so perhaps there is something to be learned from the discussion.

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14 comments on “Bidrush #4”
    1. Sorry, there was a typo and a scoring error. It has now been corrected. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. 🙂