06 April 2011

The wrong card in tempo

I'm sure you've heard the saying. Better than the right card out of tempo or something. Except it isn't. If you don't believe me remember back to when you were explaining to your team mates how you let through a slam on defence. How many of those biting and sarcastic questions were about the tempo? How often do you bid 'in tempo' then find, while partner sits and thinks, a better option?

I'm not advocating unethical play nor am I suggesting one might break tempo needlessly just that being right is important. If you need the time to think take it. Often no information is conveyed. Other times partner gets information like "I'm really close to either a double or bidding one more". Helpful.
Game All:
A 9 x x
Q T x x x x
x x

Pass 1 1 X
Pass 4 X Pass

You considered opening a weak 2. Schooled on the value of 4 card majors you hold off. The whole auction has been in tempo so far. What's your call?

Everything immediately screamed pass to me but I've got into a habit of stopping and thinking about these hands. What occurred to me after some time was, partner after making a simple overcall and, hearing nothing from me has doubled a confidently bid game holding either one or no trumps. Suspicious. Maybe it's not strictly a penalty double... I bid.
A J x x x
A K x x
T x x
x x
K Q x x
A K Q J x x x
K Q J x x
T x x x
J x x
A 9 x x
Q T x x x x
x x
Partners double is mostly penalties, opposite as much as xxx - T9xx - xxx - xxx the contract will likely fail. Would the auction have been the same had partners only heart been small? Who knows. It's akin to the adage that you should always play to win the post mortem. Well yes but I'd much rather win the datum, match, session or tournament.

1 comment:

  1. I take it you bid and made 5 diamonds?
    It looks like you have to be careful in the play if East leads 3 top clubs and west discards 2 hearts: AS, spade ruff, AH, heart ruff, spade ruff, heart ruff with KD (west discards a spade), spade ruff (west plays last spade), heart ruff with AD (west forced to under ruff). West's Jx is then finessible. If you ruff hearts first, then you end up with QTX in the 3 card ending vs west's Jxx and can't pick it up.