03 July 2011

Playing a break

Let me tell a story of how I ended up playing in a sub-optimal fit at the 5 level. I say fit but I mean break. One of the opponents had as many trumps as my partner and I combined.
Here's my hand and the auction:
Q 5 4 3
A 9 3
Q T 7 6

1 1 1 2
3 Pass 3 Pass
4 Pass 5 5
5 Pass Pass Pass

That's me sitting South. Here are some insights into what I thought was going on:
  • 3 asks for a diamond stop which I sure don't have.
  • Maybe if I bid 3 we can play in a Moysian 4 or 4.
  • 5 thoroughly confuses me.

Some conflicting insights from my partner:
  • 3 is a cue raise in spades, I'd double if I wanted a stop.
  • 3 cue, 4 cue, 5 must be a singleton
  • 5 another cue on the way to 5

Here comes the layout:
K J 8 7
K 6
A K J 4 3 2
A T 9 6
Q T 8 5 4
9 6 4 3
J 7 2
A K Q 7 5 2
9 8 5
Q 5 4 3
A 9 3
Q T 7 6
When the phrase "bid to the level of the fit" was coined it wasn't meant to mean "if you have a 5 card fit play at the 5 level". Yet here I am. I think we can forgive the defense for not extracting the maximum value here but -250 did score better than some who were in 5x.


  1. I think that 3D is a DSI (Do Something Intelligent) bid, to which the primary obligation is to call notrump if you have a diamond stopper. 3H is a reasonable (and I think best) call by your hand. Where the auction went off the rails, IMHO, is with your partner's 4C call. Now was the time for partner to disclose the reason for his 3D bid by jumping to 4S.

    Perhaps better yet would be for partner to have jumped to 4D or 4S instead of bidding 3D.

    I suppose you might have bid 4C over 3D rather than 3H, but 3H, being the cheapest call, seems reasonable to me as an attempt to discover the cause of partner's cue bid 3D. Unfortunately, partner did not share the cause being a good spade fit.

    Probably the call I would have chosen over 5H is 6C ... but then that is off two aces, too.

  2. I like DSI as a convention. I mgiht add it to my system card; see how long it takes someone to ask.

    Agree that my pass of 5H was ill considered. More a result of bafflement than anything logical.

  3. Fabulous little story. I really think your blog is so refreshing : reflecting the true trials and tribulations of bridge players the world over. Mind you I once played in 2D on a 1-1 fit when we had a lay down slam in the majors. Such is the bizarre nature of the game.....when misunderstanding creeps into the bidding. Yours HBJ