19 August 2011

Into the unknown

I don't know about you but I find playing with someone completely unknown a little terrifying. No fore-warning that you'll be playing together and a minute or less for a system discussion before being thrown into a session.

I played earlier this week in such a partnership. My partner is an experienced player but I have no idea about his style or approach. In general it went well, we bid some nice games like this one:

7 5
A K Q J 4 3
A J 8 2
J 9 4 2
A J T 9
T 8 7

South opened a spade holding AQTxx and we avoided the 3NT trap that the other table fell into and instead played in the very good 5 spot.

Later though I picked up this red against green:

J 9 8 4
A J 8 6
A K 7 2

My LHO passed, partner opened a weak 2 and RHO produced 2. If you've played together lots and have an established weak two style this is probably an easy decision. If very strict you're worth game (this is 2nd seat unfavourable we're talking about), if not maybe an invite. If you're both under 20 you should definitely pass but will bid game anyway. I passed and led the K.
A Q T 9 7 2
K T 7 5
5 4
J 9 8 4
A J 8 6
A K 7 2
6 3
J 8 6 5 4 3
Q J T 6
A K Q T 7 5
Q 9 3 2
9 8 3

I've been known to open hands that contain more sevens than high card points but J8xxxx? Needless to say the K wasn't the lead to beat it so we were out 140.

At the other table the auction was quite different:

- - 3 Pass
Pass X Pass Pass
3 X Pass Pass

That made the same 9 tricks on the much less explicable K lead. Who likes the pass of 3x by East?


  1. When I have AK(xx..) in an unbid side suit it is my opening lead more than 99% of the time. As Eddie Kantar suggests, when in doubt, lay an A down on opening lead so you can see what you should have led at trick 1.

  2. @Mrturk: Yes that's good advice. Though I'm not convinced I'll find the magic diamond switch there is at least a hope.

  3. Your partner's 2H opening a classic example of pre-empting partner by opening a diabolical 2H 2nd in seat.

    As for East's pass - how many time does one need six trumps to not pass?? Seems reasonable to me. One thing to keep in mind for East is 'how long did South take to pass 3H on the first round'? If a long time, then sounds like he's got an easy escape lined up or rescue RD.