Sunday, February 7, 2010

Jennbridge: Diamonds are Forever

In last night's 24 board team game, playing with Jenn, I was dealt a 9-card, 8-card, 7-card, 6-card and 5-card suit in the same session - all in diamonds!  (I also held suits containing 4,3,2 and 1 diamond; no voids.)  I think that the odds against that happening are so astonomical that it may never have happened before.  I will present them in descending order of the suit lengths. 

1.  First seat, neither vulnerable.

♠  x
♥  Qx

♦  AKQxxxxxx
l♣ K

How would you handle this freak?  Jenn and I play a gambling 3NT opening to show a long solid minor, but our agreement is that the hand may contain no outside ace or king.  So the only choices are 1 Diamond or 5 Diamonds.  I decided to bid 1 Diamond.  LHO overcalled 1 Spade, partner made a negative double, and RHO bid 2 Spades.  Now what? 

Since partner showed some values in hearts, I decided to simply bid Blackwood.  If she showed 2 aces, I would take a shot at 6 Diamonds.  She actually bid 5 Diamonds, showing one ace, so I passed.  LHO led the ace of spades, and I looked at:

♠  xx
♥  xxxxx

♦  JT
♣ AQxx

♠  x
♥  Qx

♦  AKQxxxxxx
♣ K

A disappointing dummy - neither the ace or king of hearts.  I should have been down one.  LHO knew that I was off 2 aces. Fortunately for us, he had a stiff king of hearts and didn't play it, going for a passive defense, so we made six.  (An interesting sidelight: if he had played his king, RHO would have had to decide whether or not to overtake.  Overtaking is right if the lead is a stiff king, breaks even if it is from KQ, but loses if it is from Kx.  In this case, RHO had AJTxx, so if partner had Kx, declarer would have a singleton and his play wouldn't matter, so he should overtake.) 

At the other table, our opponents had an accident.  The bidding went 1 Diamond, one Spade, Double, 2 Hearts, alerted as a good spade raise.  The person holding my cards now cue bid 2 Spades. LHO went on to 4 Spades, and her partner bid 5 Hearts (thinking that the cue bid showed a heart fit) which was doubled.  She passed and her partner went for -1700!  Had she correctly removed to 6 Diamonds (9-card suits should always be trumps), our teammates would have likely set it one (after partner doubles 5 hearts, leading the king at trick 2 would have been easy, but might not beat it 2 tricks.)  We won 19 IMPs.  It might have been 4 or 8 depending on whether they beat it one or two.

2.  In third seat, neither vulnerable,  I held:

♠  Jx
♥  void

♦  KJTxxxxx
♣  xxx

This was an easy one.  Jenn dealt and opened 1 Heart.  We play Bergen, so I couldn't bid 3 Diamonds.  I had to bid a forcing 1NT.  She bid 2 Clubs, I bid 2 Diamonds, she bid 3 Clubs, I bid 3 Diamonds and she passed.   The contract was the same at the other table.  We made 4 for a 1 IMP gain.

3.  In first seat, neither vulnerable, I held:

♠  x
♥  AK9xx
♦  JT9xxxx

♣  void

Do you open, and if so, what?  I didn't want to preempt in diamonds as this could bury the heart suit.  I considered opening it 1 Diamond, but instead chose to pass.   LHO opened 1 Club, Jenn overcalled 1 Spade, and RHO made a surprising bid of 2 Hearts.  Now I decided to get into the auction with 3 Diamonds.  Jenn surprised me with a raise to 4 Diamonds.  Since this was IMPs, I couldn't just leave it there, so I tried 5 Diamonds.  Everyone passed, Jenn produced:

 ♠ Axxxx
♥  void
♦  KQxxx

♣ Jxx

Nice trump support!  Jenn, considering that I had been a passed hand and hearing strong opposition bidding, made only a gentle raise.  We made six, losing only the ace of diamonds.  My counterpart at the other table chose to open my hand 2 Hearts, which I consider a serious breach of discipline in first position.  He got what he deserved.  Everyone passed, he went down 2 and we won 11 IMPs.

4.  In third seat, both sides vulnerable, I held:

♠ x
♣ void

Partner passed, and RHO opened 2 Clubs.  I decided to get into the auction with 2 Diamonds.  I knew it was their hand, but a sacrifice bid was possible.  LHO passed (showing some values), and Jenn raised to 3 Diamonds.  RHO bid 4 Clubs, so I took an advance save with 5 Diamonds.  LHO doubled, RHO bid 5 Spades and LHO raised to 6 Spades.  Rats!  Our bidding may have pushed them into a making slam.  If this had been pairs, I might have saved with 7 Diamonds, but in a team game, this is losing strategy.  You certainly are going for 500 or more, so you might as well hope the slam can be set.  I tried my best shot, my lowest diamond, hoping RHO had one so partner could win the ace and give me a club ruff.  Alas, he was 5=1=0=7 and the slam was cold.  Our teammates couldn't find their way to the slam, so we lost 11 IMPs.  Preempts are good tactics but sometimes they backfire. 

5.  I actually held 2 hands with 5 diamonds.  Here is the more interesting one.  I was dealer, both vulnerable, and held:

♠ KJxx
♣ AKx

I opened 1 Diamond, LHO passed, Jenn bid 1 Spade, RHO bid 2 Hearts, I bid 2 Spades (promising 4-card support since we play support doubles), LHO bid 3 Hearts, and Jenn bid 4 Spades.  RHO led the queen of diamonds, and Jenn, looking at:

♠ Axxxx
♣ xxx

had no trouble making 6 (spades were 2-2). This board was a push.

Good luck!

1 comment:

Memphis MOJO said...

I see someone is a new Diamond Life Master -- congratulatons!