Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bidding problems from District GNT

Many bidding problems are clearly a bit of a guess -- if you can reason well about the percentage guess, the long-run rewards are significant. Here are two problems from a close District GNT semifinal which we won last weekend (final at a later date.)

1. You hold Ax AKQT9x xxx Jx. At neither vul., partner opens 3c in second seat, passed to you. Your style is "modern standard." Your call?

2. You hold xxx x Jxx AJ9xxx. White v. red, partner deals and opens 3S -- the auction continues 3S-4H-4S-5S-P-6H-?? Are you bidding?
(stories follow)


#1: I decided opposite most hands we needed at least a club hook, more often needed a hook and heart break, and sometimes had no play for game. The few times game was good didn't seem to compensate and I passed. Partner held xxx x xx AQxxxxx (how traditional) and just made 3C. At the other table my hand bid 3h and preemptor bid 3nt, which even on a non-diamond lead is under 40%. They won the spade lead and lost a club hook -- down 5, we won 8 imps. Needed some luck, but I think I made the percentage guess.

#2: A difficult guess -- you know the save will be super-cheap, but mightn't partner have a stiff club, so you can beat 6H even when the opponents have their bids? An agonizing decision where you can lose 12-14 imps either by a phantom save or by failing to save. I can't tell you for sure what I would have done, because partner did it for me -- holding KQJxxxx xxx x Tx he bid 6S over 5S, so the problem I posed never arose. Against imperfect defense he got out for 500 and we won 14. (His lefty holding Kx clubs needed to pop king to cut communication at a crucial moment -- he led a low club from hand to discourage this, good technique.)


Kenny Z said...

On the first hand, you seem to be imagining percentages only based on what we can or can't make, and not factoring in what the opponents might make. I'd bid 4H because (1) it might make and (2)the opps might have a spade game. LHO will double on this auction with KJ10X XXXX AJ98 Q and his partner will bid 4S with QXXXXX JX KQ XXX. By passing 3C, I create a double game swing. Not good imps strategy, in my opinion. Admittedly, the layout I described would be unusually unfortunate, but tthe possibility of such a huge negative swing doesn't seem like one I should chance.

On the second hand, I wonder why I bid only 4S the first time when 5C, 5S and even 6C all seem like more appealing options.

Jonathan Weinstein said...

Hey Kenny,

You're right to consider the opponents on the first one -- they have both passed so I kind of took that at face value but they could be pesky. I think you meant to give rho the CA instead of the DQ so that 4S makes. Here's a thorny legal issue: if I tank, not to coffeehouse, of course, but because I think we might have game, then at some point later in the tank I realize that I might be more inclined to bid if I’m afraid of a balance, but I think they probably *won’t* balance because I tanked…is my own hesitation and the effect it may have on them authorized information to me?

Yes, something other than 4S appeals on the next one -- maybe 5C will even help partner make an accurate decision on bidding 6S over 6H (i.e. not save with stiff club.) I like that.

Becker said...

congrats on the win! luck in the final.

Anonymous said...

Something similar to what Kenny is describing happened to me in a recent sectional. We lost bundle of imps when i failed to blow opps of the auction. However, LHO was not a passed hand, so it's a big factor too like Jon points out.

Just $0.02