29 September 2011

The dime that is four minor

It's usually somewhere you end up by accident; passing a cue, minor-wood, splinter. Sometimes though, it's perfect. 10 tricks available and not a hint of an eleventh.

Yes it's weird auction time:

1 2 X 3
Pass 3 Pass Pass
3 Pass 3 Pass
4 end

Phew! 2 is Michaels of course but sadly we hadn't discussed how we might defend. I started with a double but couldn't really have another swing when 3 came back.

Partner bid 3 and I had a real problem. What would you have bid?

A K J 5 4
J 6 3
J 8 7 3

So many contracts could be right here. 3, 3NT, 4, 4, 5 all seem possible end points.

Since I believe a double from partner would have been penalties 3 doesn't show extra length, merely "I can't double". Now heart contracts start to seem unlikely.

Partner could still have a diamond stop though, Kx is a stop but not a double. I thought 3 was a good way to transfer the blame.

When partner bid 4 I gave up. No diamond stopper and poor clubs in my hand make 5 a long shot plus partner with a better hand might have bid clubs immediately over 3.

Vul: NS
Dealer: South
A K J 5 4
J 6 3
J 8 7 3
Q 8 7 6 3
8 5 3
A Q T 9 8
T 9
J 7 6 2
K 7 2
A T 6 2
A Q T 9 4
5 4
K Q 9 5 4

As discussed earlier there were precisely 10 tricks.

Usually 4 minor is a matchpoint thing. At teams you must bid the game as it's just too dangerous to pass when that 11th trick might magically appear. But if you get doubled in four like happened to my partner this week:

K 9 5
9 4
A K T 9 8 7 5
J 5 3
A J T 7
K Q 6 5
4 2

Partner had opened a club and NS entered into an invitational sequence in spades. We pushed on regardless and when they doubled we stopped. Clubs were 3-1 and the A offside but a good decision in hearts made the 10 tricks worth 59 points each.

1 comment:

  1. At matchpoints, both 4 of a minor and 5 of a minor feel like stepchildren. I had a partner who warned me as we were about to start a club game that if I bid 5 of a minor, I was going to be playing in six.

    Still, there is nothing like a 4C bid and made by the opponents to demoralize you. Happened us to last week. The rest of the field was in 3S our way, also making.