27 October 2011

Nice bidding team mates

Playing in a teams match recently this board proved to be a trap:

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

N/S hold a combined 25 highs yet there's no game available. It's a great demonstration of the weakness of the 4333 shape.

At our table our opponents went through an invitational auction avoiding 4 in favour of 3NT. I led the 7 and though declarer dropped one of the club honours it wasn't enough, down 1.

Our friends at the other table starting with South had the auction:

1 - 1 - 2 - Pass

The 1 is a transfer and promised 4+ hearts, the 2 showed four hearts in a weak NT. A nicely judged pass by North saw a plus on both score sheets and 6 imps to the good guys.


  1. HBJ : the problem as always is symmetry. It is back enough having flat hands but when the shape is mirrored exactly, then it is really bad news.
    There needs to be a bridge law to expose this phenomenon : say " Skipper's Rule of Symmetry "

  2. 3NT is a complex spot, depending on the lead. If opponents always broke their best suit and defended perfectly, it would definitely be less than 50% (spade queen onside). Wouldn't rate it much less than 50% at worst, though, so would for sure want to be there vul at teams. Still, good pass from North, especially assuming they don't have a natural 2NT invite available.

  3. @HBJ: Something like that. The problem is I'd have to suggest a solution and "play a full shape relay to find out" simply won't catch on.

    @Nick: You're right 3NT has chances. NS are lucky to hold the ♣T9 and the ♠T otherwise it's much more grim.

  4. HBJ : Make a 1D opening natural or a flat 4333 hand say. Partner can bid 2D showing a definite 4333 flat hand with opening points. Opener, if possessing a flat 12/13 count hand, can now bid 2H/2S if this is his 4 card suit, or 2NT if it is clubs. Now how easy is that for responder to decide on the final contract?