14 March 2011

Perfect Cards

One of the most common things you hear in post mortems is "but what if you held".

A couple of years ago I went to a talk given by Ron Klinger to the current NZ youth bridge team. Ron is an Australian expert, teacher and author of many bridge books. Since he was in town the national association hauled him in to attempt the impossible, impart bridge judgement to youth players. We were at a bridge club in Wellington that looked like this:
Fort Knox (src Cliff)
Well maybe not exactly like that but if you walked down the right street with that picture in mind I bet you'd find it. In one example Ron gave us that has stuck with me we were given four hands, asked to evaluate them and given an auction rank them from best to worst. Problem was they were all the same shape and all had the same number of aces, kings, queens and jacks.

What he was trying to say (I think - maybe I missed the boat here) was that although it's very hard to find out if partner has perfect cards it is possible to recognise when you have them. Consider the following two hands and the auction below:
A J T x
Q x x x
K x
A x x
A x x x
A K x x
Q x
J T x

1NT / 3 /
3 / 4 /
3 was a transfer to diamonds. Which of the two weak NT do you like the most?

Partner is 5-5 or 6-4 (maybe more) depending on your agreements. We didn't have any so I guessed at 5-5. That means he has 3 cards in the majors. How good is AJTx opposite one small? Or Qxxx opposite Ax. In terms of bringing in a slam these aren't good holdings. With the second hand however I can cover all of partners major losers and fill out his suits with my minors!

1NT / 3 /
3 / 4 /
4NT / 5 /
5 / 6 /

4NT is 1430 keycard and I refuse to believe he has none. 5 asked for the trump queen and 6 confirms he has it and some other stuff. We don't have the system detail to know but I suspect the stuff should be the K. 5 tricks in each minor and my three in the majors means the defence don't get any. I'll bid 7 though so in case we're missing the J partner can ruff the third round of diamonds high before drawing trumps.
A x x x
A K x x
Q x
J T x
x x
A K x x x x
A K Q x
So not the best grand ever.
Nothing was breaking badly so we escaped to collect a welcome 11 imps.

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