09 May 2011

Responsive Ramblings

Responding is sometimes the hardest part of the game. So often responders first bid is critical to the later auction. Here's a hand where there are many paths to choose from. You're playing a 5 card spade and the rest of the system is probably irrelevant but happens to be Acol. Partner opens 1♠ and you get to think about:

T 8 7
A Q J 7 5 2
T 8 6 5

If you've only been playing a short while it might seem like bidding anything other than 2♠ is inexplicable. What other bids are there though? Well there's 1NT I guess or maybe 2. What about upgrading to 3♠? Some daring souls might even stretch to 4♠.

4♠?!? But we were just talking about bidding two! Well those who've swallowed the losing trick count kool-aid might count to seven. Then by adding something, multiplying by something else and taking away the number they first thought of come to the realization that game simply must make. Let's not start on exactly how many Xar points might be required.

So if it's right to bid game surely we could be more descriptive on the way. Can I sell a 4 splinter? What if your system allowed you to void splinter? Now we're really getting somewhere. On the other hand partner could have a minimum opening with no fit for our diamonds. Then when the opponents lead the trump ace and continue 8 tricks might be all we can do.

Heck, if partner's the type to open 'quality' 10 or 11 counts 8 tricks might not even be there. It's always a little embarrassing to fall in love with a hand only to concede -400 undoubled in some silly spot like 5♠. What would you bid? I'm with the 2 crowd.

1 comment:

  1. HBJ ; I would bid 4S everytime. The void in hearts is priceless, as with that very solid looking diamond suit. I couldn't envisage many hands that partner could have that makes 4S a hopeless contract. Always best to keep opponents guessing in the dark.