Sunday, August 3, 2008

3-Card Major

Since my recent trip to the Las Vegas NABC was not a great success as a whole, and usually I post disaster hands more often than triumphant ones, I figure it is okay to report this small victory, one of my favorite hands from the tournament. I was playing the weekend Swiss with an occasional partner. We play precision with very few agreements, generally trying to keep things simple. Anyway, I was dealt 3rd in hand white v red,
T9x
Ax
AKxx
Txxx
and heard my partner open 1 Diamond--either diamonds or any balanced 13-15 hand. RHO passed and I had to decide quickly so that it didn't look like I had a problem--my choices were a game-forcing 2 Clubs, 2 Diamonds, which showed 5 of them and 11 plus points, and a natural invitational 2NT. Mulling over these quickly, I responded 1 Spade and awaited developments. LHO overcalled 2 Hearts and partner doubled, showing 3 card support (it looked like at least we'd be able to avoid playing a spade contract now). Before I got a chance to choose my next brilliant call, RHO bid 3 Hearts. I felt like a double should just be cards here, showing some good hand, not really penalty-oriented (pretty much what I had). Since I knew that my partner and I were not on firm ground on this auction, though, I decided to pass and await developments (again). Sure enough, LHO bid 4 Hearts, passed back to me. This time I whacked it. We collected 800--the other hands were
-----KJx
-----J
-----JTxx
-----AKQxx
AQxx-------xxx
KTxxxx----Q9xx
xx----------Qxx
x-----------Jxx
We were on for 6 of a minor but at the other table our counterparts bid to 3nt and took 10 tricks--a 9 IMP win for us. The victim declarer, a well-known expert, was mumbling after the hand about the atrocity of bidding 1 Spade on Ten third and then passing 3 Hearts with Ace-King, Ace. I'm sure he was right, none of my actions were a thing of beauty, but having it work on this occasion was satisfaction enough for me. In fact maybe I could have mumbled something about bidding game on that lot!

3 comments:

kennyz said...

I'm guessing you already know how I feel about this one. I don't play Precision, so this exact problem would never come up for me. With this hand opposite a standard 1D opening, I'd be perfectly happy to make a forcing diamond raise. Even with AXX XX XXXX AKXX, I'd prefer the diamond raise or GF 2C to the 1S bid.

Dari said...

This hand reminds me of my recent GNT precision experiences. I bet if you give this hand to Rumen he will bid 1S without hesitation, without even considering other options. I don't like the 3-card major responses over 1D, especially when you have better options, in your case I would choose 2NT. I don’t understand the theory behind 3-card Major responses. What I know is I always get upset when I see my partner's hand. :)

Memphis MOJO said...

1S is not my first choice, but I don't understand EW complaining.

A good rule: When you bid (or play) like a moron, keep your mouth shut.