- It has to be all East's fault. West can hardly
drive to slam with nothing in spades and half his hand in
the splinter suit. West did make a minimally cooperative
noise despite these negative features, so East should have
bid once more. What made it hard for East was that there
was nothing to cuebid, and Blackwood would not always tell
him whether 6 was playable. Therefore I think East should
have bid 5, and West would have known to go on.
- Too tough; no blame. East might have bid 5 over 4;
West might have advanced with 5 over 4... both actions are
reasonable. West might have been facing AKQJxx Qxx x xxx.
East might have been facing Qxx Ax AJxx AJxx (a 'better' hand
where 6 is almost no play on a heart lead)
There are fewer hands where West is right to pass than East;
60-40 in favor of West to blame.
- West 50%. Or both 100%. I think West overcompensated for the QJ of
diamonds wasted and could probably afford another move with excellent
controls and a third trump (which could be worth a whole queen back). East
should move again over a cooperating strong NT - 5 showing good trumps
seems right. Are those West X's lower than the East ones (removing the
primary extra chance on a heart lead)?
- Neither. Reverse East's clubs and hearts and the slam doesn't
look as good. East made a fairly aggressive try. Even subtracting
the diamond QJ, those aces and third trump rate to be useful on this
auction, so a last train 4 looks about right. East has to be concerned
over 4 he has already bid this hand to the max and needs to be facing
almost exactly the given hand for the slam to be decent.
- (I assume 4 was a splinter? [Yup. --Jeff]) Hard to blame
either partner. West had only ok trumps (xxx), a wasted QJ,
and questionable value in the J10 yet didn't sign off. (Yes,
West also had three bullets which are always very useful.) East
had good trumps but otherwise a pretty minimal hand and doesn't
have another call. If the question was, "who was in the better
position to take another call?", I would say West and not East.
I think the methods are to blame. Varis and I would bid these hands:
1(2 way)-1 ()
1(R, 16+HCP)-3 (8-11HCP, 6+, shortness)
3(R)-3NT (7 card suit, singleton could have been void)
4(R)-4 (3 controls, A=2, K=1)
4(2P unless partner has an exceptional hand which he doesn't)-P
I don't believe I would relay past 4 with the West hand - make the Q
the Q and 5 is in danger but if I did
4NT(R)-5(0 or 2 spade honors)
5(R)-5(0 or 2 heart honors)
See why relay is so much better!
Now, even if I guess that partner has AK, then I know that
partner can't have another K and the slam is not looking percentage. (I
agree on the actual cards, slam looks something close to 75% on a lead
and better on anything else.)
- I think the opening bidder's hand is too good to settle for game. Three
aces, possible source of tricks in clubs, ruffing value in hearts and
three trumps rather than two add up to enough for slam. If I didn't
think I had enough to force to slam if not off 2 KC, I would jump to 5
over 4 showing, in my opinion, the three aces outside of trumps but
some concern about trumps (I would choose this bid if I had xx in
Let's give East some example hands:
Aren't these typical hands for him? I would be willing to be in 6
on each of these hands except hand E and KC might keep us out of 6 on
that one (should responder show the Q in response to KC? [I think not,
as we don't necessarily have a tenth trump. --Jeff]) even though
6 is not a bad contract. Switch the heart and club suits on any of
these hands and some of the contracts become even better. On some of
these hands you get your 12th trick on the OL.
- KQJxxx Kxx x Kxx
- AKJxxx Qxx x Kxx
- AJxxxxx KQ x Qxx
- AKQxxx xxx x Kxx
- KJxxxxx KQx x Kx
- JEFF AT THE TABLE
- I was East.
West: 52%, East: 48%, but really "no one did anything wrong."
- JEFF UPON REFLECTION
- At first I was with the majority, who felt that
no one did anything wrong. East has great trumps, but no side aces,
and he looks like a minimum for his action so far. West has no
trump honor and 7 HCP in partner's stiff and got to show some interest
Mike thought the hands would get to slam after an old-fashioned
1NT-3 GF, and I do, too. West sees the 9th trump, aces, and good
slam honor structure. He doesn't get to know about the diamond
singleton, so he loves his hand.
That brought me around to Ed's point of view. West really should
not focus on the diamonds, which are not that awful vs. a stiff
(imagine making the Q the Q and the J the J
and is the hand better?), but
on the doubleton heart and the club spots. One of those two features
is going to be huge, because partner has to have length in one of those
suits. West knows his partner has at most one ace and isn't going to
bid past 4 as a result. Three small isn't that bad a holding (though
10xx would be nice, since heart ruffs are a possibility) vs. a 6- or
7-card suit. West's honor structure is very slammish; upon reflection,
I think he should move past game, but it's close enough that I'd give
little blame to anyone.