07 January 2011

Sacrificing at the three level

Playing pairs can be a horrible business. The difference between +110 and +120 shouldn't be worth the stress it is afforded. The singly worst thing though is when you can't trust the field to bid. Playing teams you have someone to string up, at pairs there's only 'the room'. Here's and hand on which I opened a third seat weak 1NT:
A K 5 4 3
Q 6 3
Q 3 2
I opened 1NT rather than 1 for lots of reasons. Some of them are misguided but at least over 1NT if my partner has long diamonds or long hearts we can play in them at the two level which isn't possible over 1. I can always bid 2 later if my opponents attempt to pilfer the contract.

The auction proceeded:
West North East South
Pass Pass 1NT 2♣*
3 Pass Pass Pass
*Single suited
Uneventful. My partner knows I like opportunities to recognise he's a past hand; his bid must be weak and something of a pre-compete so I'm not raising. Part played the hand quickly; there really wasn't much to it. He was only getting 7 tricks from the outset -200. However in context:
J 9 8 6 2
K J 7 5
T 5 2
J 9 8 7 5 4 2
6 4
7 6
A K 5 4 3
Q 6 3
Q 3 2
A T 9 8
A K 9 8 4 3

North-South can make slam in either minor or 3NT so we're getting a good board right? My partner has found an excellent bid here. Par:-170 and 35%.


  1. That's one of the "rules" of matchpoints: Any minus result won't score as well as it should.

  2. 3H vulnerable? That is sick.
    Wait ... is 1NT a Weak NT? If so 3H is not just sick, it is criminal. A crime that should probably carry a non-parole sentence.