28 April 2011

More hands with 11 cards in two suits.

I like opening major minor 5-6 shapes the 5 card major suit. Possibly making an exception for the blacks. What that means is in practise is I look out for hands that it works on and brush under the rug those where it's less successful.

Here I present two examples of hands where bidding the major was "right":

Vul: EW
Dealer: North
K T 9 8 4
Q J T 6 5 3
T 5 4 3
J 7 3
A K T 4
K 4
Q J 9 8
Q 8 7 6 3
A 9 2
K 7 6 2
A Q 5 2
J 9 5
8 7
Here North opened a heart and on finding support bid 4. East doesn't have much chance of finding a diamond lead (best) and even then West may slip by cashing two rounds. At the other table North opened 1 which allowed South to steal the heart game. West led a big diamond and shifted to the K and after three rounds of clubs declarer had a losing option. Now that's a pretty arbitrary wishy-washy reason to open 1 but looking at the North hand hearts is the most likely game. It's better if the 6-5 is declarer and kept secret; defenders who don't see the shape won't defend as well.

In my second example an expert West opened 1 and reversed into 2:
K J T 5 3
K Q J 8 7 3
Q J 8 5 2
8 7
A K 8 7 5
There's simply no hope of a good contract now. Burying 5 card majors is wrong and if you open 1 you either do just that or pray reversing won't cost too much. In the play a couple of defensive errors allowed declarer to make two thirds the required tricks for 3NT but it was Easts sobbing at the sight of dummy that made the hand memorable.

What East will do after 1 - 1 - 2 is an interesting discussion in itself but there's now a chance to play 3 for a positive score. What I'm trying to say is that if I play often enough, hands to support my theories come up in droves!

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