24 November 2010

Collecting a penalty

When I wrote the system outline for Electric Ant I stated that systemically opening quality at the two level is great because you catch your opponents in overcalls a level higher than everyone else. I wasn't playing the Ant on this occasion (hence the different range) but this is what I meant:

Vul: NS
Dealer: East
A Q T 9 4
J 7 2
T 8 7 5
8 6
A 4
K J 9 4
Q T 9 8 4
J 5 3
K Q 9 8 5 3
A 6 2
K 7 2
T 6
Q 3
A K J 6 3 2

My partner as East opened 2 showing 9 - 12 and 5 or 6 hearts. These hands are supposed to have the old style 1.5 defensive tricks to keep the discipline up. As south you could be forgiven for overcalling, some might not but I suspect that most players will try 3 here. The penalty double is clear cut from West and when North runs to 3 it won't be enough to escape a red card.

Reliable partner followed the golden rule of doubled part scores and led trumps. It's always right. Promise. He won the heart return and continued trumps, I won the second heart, put my partner in with the A for the final round of trumps. +500. Declarer got just 5 spades and 2 clubs.

Opening the East hand 1 you can only defend 2x and if you open it a weak two partner won't have enough confidence in the defensive strength to double 3. It's true that you can find a hand to make any system look good but this happens profitably often.

1 comment:

  1. An additional sequence can be obtained from an opening pass from East. My partner and I play disciplined weak twos with some restrictions like the hand cannot have a side 3-card major, no 2 aces, no void, and specific ranges based on the vulnerability. They come up less often, but are much more descriptive when used, or when they could have been used but were not.

    With this weak two, East would pass, and the auction might be:
    E, S, W, N
    P, 1C, P, 1S,
    P, 2C, P, P,

    Here East can easily balance the auction with a 2H bid, either buying the contract, or pushing the opps to either 3C or 3S which West will gladly double.

    Same result, different approach, based on american standard bidding. But one has to learn to pass...