Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

A hand from four points of view

Bridge matches are won or lost on the bidding. How would bid this hand from the CWTC final (and CNTC semi final) in each compass direction?

You can start off as me. Your opponents are vulnerable. Your hand is

S AQJ52 H A865 D Q106 C2

You open 1S. We will be back to you in a moment.

Now lets move across the table and you can sit behind Isabelle. You have S 10864 H KQ974 D 94 C109. You hear the auction go Pass-1S-2NT to you. You can bid 3S which is a less than a limit raise, or bid 3D limit raise or better or preempt with 4S. What would you do? . Lets consider some hands partner might have. We play 12-14 notrump in this position so if my hand is balanced I either have extra values or very good spades. 3S is the book bid. A weak hand with some spades does describe your hand. The argument for bidding 4S is the vulnerability. Even if you go down a couple it may not make any difference and it uses up a lot of the opponent’s space because slam is a possibility. On the other hand it might just push the opponents to a game they wouldn’t reach. Ray who is the preempt expert in our house does not like 4S at all. I could go either way. Isabelle chose 3S and her counterpart at the other table bid 4S. Lets see what happens next.

The bidding at our table continued 3S-4C back to me. Your RHO (Leslie) bids 4C. Your turn. Are you a bidder? I can’t personally see any reason to bid at all. Partner has nothing and your defence against 5C is limited. But I am open to anyone’s opinion.

Now before we see the finale. You are my RHO Leslie sitting East. Here is your hand: S K9 H K64 D 32 C J108743. What do you bid over 3S and what do you bid over 4S. First what are you methods? I was thinking about what 3NT, DBL and 4C meant. One of these bids should be a game try. Should double show high cards with both offence and defence? Should it be a game try? Should 3NT be a game try asking partner to bid her better suit? I have no idea but I think it is interesting. I would definitely take DBL as forward going. With 6C I would probably bid 5C over 4S. I know I am vulnerable but partner knows that too. She can hardly be much worse than x xx AKXXX AKXXX. On this hand 5C will make if the heart ace is onside and 4S will make or might be down 1 depending on the exact distribution and positioning of the hearts. Over 3S it is not as clear. I could bid 4C now and see what happens I suppose. What do you think?

Now you are LHO, Pamela. You have S 73 H 10 D AK875 C KQJ43.

The auction has been Pass-1S-2NT-3S-4C to you. You have bid 2NT and heard partner bid 4C freely. Is this one good enough for 5C or have you said your peace? Well I hate missing vulnerable games but I would pass. It does seem like you might be off 3 major suit tricks but it is possible partner has one covered. Partner would need to provide some help with the majors and enough to cover your diamond loser. I suppose partner could have S x H Jxxxx D QXX C AXXX . If partner has a really offensive hand they might have made a game try. But they don’t have much room. I suppose the final factor in deciding to pass is that your hand really couldn’t be much worse to bid 2NT.

  S 10864  
  H KQ974  
  D 94  
Pamela C 109 Leslie
S 73   S K9
H 10   H J32
D AK875   D J32
C KQJ43 Linda C A8765
  S AQJ52  
  H A865  
  D Q106  
  C 2  


An interesting hand. As you can see  4S is a make and 5C is down 1. So if you were aggressive with either the North hand or the East hand you did best.  At our table we sold out to 4C which made 4 and our opponents bought it for 4S making.

My opinion: I think that Isabelle made the right choice it worked out badly and the aggressive choice came home. Some days are like that.


Ray LeeMay 31st, 2008 at 1:40 pm

To explain: only 4 trumps, no shape and little defense. At this vulnerability, in my view bidding 4S is more likely to push them to a making game in a minor than anything else; I think it’s far more likely to lose than gain. Bid your own hand, and then if warranted, leave it to partner to bid 4S or even 5S over 5 of a minor.

Pamela NisbetMay 31st, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Hi Linda- I recall that hand very well I went through all the same thought processes you have mentioned before passing 4clubs. Interesting hand for sure.

I would however like to correct the name you have assigned to my wonderful partner. her name is Karen Cumpstone.

lindaMay 31st, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Sorry Karen.

lindaMay 31st, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Francine and I were just discussing this hand and she had a few comments. First of course 4C can be defeated if you don’t lead a major suit ace. However I think that most people would do what I did into this auction and lead one. If you lead a trump you are a winner. I don’t believe anyone underleads the heart ace.

She also doesn’t think it is reasonable to bid 5C. It is true it could go for 500 if someone finds a trump lead and if someone feels they can double. So on paper it isn’t a good save. In practice I still think you would get out for -100. However, if you could go for 500 you probably shouldn’t bid it. Last she suggested that North might bid 4S over 4C, just in case it makes since you now know east-west has a fit. I leave this one open for comments. If I were going to bid 4S I would bid it right away or not at all.

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