Friday, June 8, 2007

Bidding decision

Finding some more deals from the disappointing GNT, I had this hand:


I opened 1D (11-13 bal/5M332 or 11-15 unbal with 4-card M) and rebid 2C, showing 4 hearts and 5+ clubs, after partner's 1S-response. With a maximum 4-6+, a had a 3C-jump available.

Freddan bid 2D, artificial gameforce with 5+ spades (with GF and only 4 spades, our intial response is 2C), and I rebid my clubs. Should this hand take further action after partner bids 3NT?

For many I think this would be an automatic pass, but I was concerned that 3NT might not make if partner doesn't have the ace of clubs. Spade lead or red suit lead and spade shift and this hand may be a dead duck.

There was also the possibility that partner had fitting extra values and slam would be making but his lack of sufficient club support forced him to fold in 3NT. He didn't bid 3NT directly, so there had to be some reason, which could be anything from right siding 3NT to exploring slam if I had a maximum with 3-card support (yes, we actually don't raise directly with 5431's, which probably put us in a 1% minority, but there are logical reasons for that of course).

The fact that the heart suit was kind of feeble pointed against a club contract but those could be discarded on dummy's high cards (possibly) if partner couldn't provide any help in that suit. Of course 5C could be down with 3NT making but the risk of the reverse outcome with the added chance of a making slam made a 5C jump a winning call in my view. I obviously had to have a self sufficient suit for that and I hadn't jump rebid 3C to show max so partner should know I wasn't trying for slam. With some "semi" slam interest I could try 4C + 5C over 3NT (still protected by failure to rebid 3C in a strong club context).

My 5C put partner a bit on the spot with J98xx/Axx/ATxx/A. He later agreed that he should have passed but at the table he felt compelled to raise to 6C with all those aces, not quite drawing the conclusions I hoped for.

6C went down of course, when the magic KQ pointed (to the left) in hearts failed to materialize. Played at 10 tables, two went down in 3NT on a spade lead (see!), one went down in 5H (?!), three made 5C (hearts played for two losers) and three made 3NT with an overtrick after a non-spade lead.

Did I make life to hard on partner? Maybe. On the other hand I don't have to change a whole lot in partner's hand for slam to be making. He did have 3 aces but otherwise a dead minimum for a gameforce against 11-15. With KQxxx instead of Jxxxx in spades, 7C would make with spades 4-3, and he would have bid the same way.

C'est la vie.

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