Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Audacity, audacity, always audacity


Audacity, audacity, always audacity was the favorite quote of General Patton.  Another way of putting it might be “Fortune favors the brave.”

At the end of the first 15 board segment, Weinstein led Diamond 32 imps to 25.  I was doing commentary in the Closed Room and it seemed to me that Sher-Jackson seemed timid in their bidding.  This is pretty unusual thse days where most players bid “on air”.  But so far it was working for them.  However this same style was put to the test in segment two.  On Board 18  at favorable vulnerability Diamond opened 1d_thumb12 in third chair showing two plus diamonds and a limited hand. 


s_thumb2 K95

h_thumb2 7

d_thumb12 AK62

c_thumb2 AK1092

Sher overcalled 2c_thumb2 a bid that I like.  Some of my partners insist you need a six card minor to overcall but this one looks like six cards to me.  Now Jackson, who had passed originally, bid 2h_thumb2.  What would you do? 

Sher bid 2NT.  I would bid 3NT.  I do have 17 great points and partner should have about ten for this.  Jackson though he had said his piece and passed.  Here was his hand


s_thumb2 A1032

h_thumb2 K10542

d_thumb12 Q10

c_thumb2 65

Counting up high card points I notice that this pair has 26 high card points with all the 10’s as well.  This is enough for game, fellows, and in fact there is an overtrick available.  3NT+1 in the Open Room, 2NT+2 in the Closed Room and 10 imps for Diamond.  Okay, in the closed room West did not open but this should not have caused a problem.  Both tables in the other match got to 3NT.  Rodwell holding’s Sher’s hand bid 1NT over a third chair 1s_thumb2 bid.  You might not love this bid but it did solve all problems.

Board 16 was a similar situation.


s_thumb2 2

h_thumb2 AKQJ1082

d_thumb12 6

c_thumb2 J873

In first chair vulnerable against not, Gitelman opened 4h_thumb2 and the auction proceeded Blackwood and then 6h_thumb2.

In the Closed Room Sher opened 1h_thumb2, a bid that is not to my taste.  The auction continued

Diamond Sher Platnick Jackson
  1h_thumb2 3d_thumb12 3s_thumb2
5d_thumb12 pass pass 5h_thumb2
all pass      

I admit it is hard to recover after opening 1h_thumb2 but partner bid 5h_thumb2 all on his lonesome.  This was not a save it was a freely bid game at unfavorable vulnerability.  General Patton would have bid the slam.   If this was too bold for him then, Sher should have perhaps bid 5h_thumb2 over 5d_thumb12. Jackson held:


s_thumb2 AK7543

h_thumb2 974

d_thumb12 A87

c_thumb2 6

This is another hand that baffles me:


s_thumb2 KQJ

h_thumb2 7542

d_thumb12 54

c_thumb2 AJ93

In second chair partner opens 2c_thumb2 Precision.  This shows 11-15 with 6 or more clubs.  You asks and partner bid 2s_thumb2 “extras with no four card major.”  What do you do?  This time you are not vulnerable so if you are nervous about not having hearts stopped I can understand.  Maybe you try 2NT.  But signing off in 3c_thumb2 seems timid to me. Once again Sher-Jackson held between them 26 HCP and failed to reach game.   In the other room the auction was different and the opponents were in the auction in spades but their opponents did get to 3NT. 


s_thumb2 4

h_thumb2 AK

d_thumb12 K1073

c_thumb2 KQ7542


3NT was bid at both tables in the other match but 6h_thumb2 was missed by Martel and Stansby when Stansby passed out the 4h_thumb2 opener.

One more exhibit.  This time a grand which is obviously tougher.  There was interference but every table had similar interference and the slam was reached at every other table.


s_thumb2 AK

h_thumb2 J532

d_thumb12 AK

c_thumb2 AQ1094


s_thumb2 6

h_thumb2 AKQ1087

d_thumb12 Q10643

c_thumb2 5

Sher was in first chair, not vulnerable against vulnerable and decided to open 2NT.  I think the hand is too strong for this and the other players opened either 2c_thumb2 or in one case a strong club.  Anyway East, Platnick, bid 3s_thumb2.   Jackson just bid 6h_thumb2 and there they played.  I understand that the interference made it hard but I am not crazy about this auction at all.

So this segment was the story of dozen of imps moving in one direction when one pair perhaps intimidated by the circumstances left most of their bidding cards in the box.

Maybe they can come back.  We will see.


Paul GipsonJune 25th, 2010 at 2:18 am

One wonders whether this is their style or part of a plan, as the underdogs, to be more conservative.

And, to be fair, on the hand where they missed 3NT Gitelman/Moss also tried to pass out three clubs but Weinstein balanced and then they bid 3NT.

But it has left them in a tough place and perhaps they are tiring, so I think Diamond will stroll through to the final.

LindaJune 26th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Perhaps they did make a decision to play conservatively but that is a hard way to go (underdog or no) when playing imps. I think to some extent it is there style and obviously they did very well so it works for them. I just think that in this particular set they pushed it too far. Absolutely they must have been tired. It seems unfair to pit a team who has been playing for a week against a team that has just arrived. I think it would be better in a trials to make all the teams play more and not have some sit out so long. After all the World Championships are marathon events.

I think that Weinstein is too be congratulated for doing so very well. I am sure we will here more from them in the future. I know that I was rooting for the underdog a lot of the time.

Josh SherJune 29th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

I have a few comments on these hands, from the set from hell.

Hand 1:

As we open all 11’s, the range for the 2H bid was about 7-10. Our style was that a passed hand bids agressively (since limited) and the other player bids conservatively. My hand might still be worth a 3N bid, but its close given the fact that diamond leads (the opps psyched a precision 1D bid in 3rd chair, which I dont think is legal based on the prohibition on psyching conventional opening bids) appear to set up tricks for them and would probably lead to defeat if we dont have 9 fast tricks.

Clem and I were not on the same wavelength on exactly how much his hand should be pushing.

2. My not bidding a slam was an eggregious mistake. I should have bid 5H in front of partner, and when I didn’t I should have raised him to slam.

3. Well I dont think 3C is a sign off. This is the club limit raise sequence as far as I am concerned. He is suppossed to pass with a min 2S bid, and show a singleton with a max (actually I think he was suppossed to bid 3D not 2S on this hand in the first place, but thats another matter).

If I bid 2N he is required to bid a singleton, so I am committing to game except if he happens to have a balanced 12 count with a good suit (where the systemic response to 2N is 3C). Clem was afraid I might have a 4441 10 count on this sequence, and I insisted that while I might have a 4441 12 count, I am passing 2C all day with the misfitting 10 count. If we belonged in 4M, oh well. Thats one of the system weaknesses of starting the auction at the 2 level.

Also note that 2N by me appears to wrongside NT, although these may not be anything we can do about that.

4. I completely disagree with every one else’s hand evaluation. treating this as 22-23 commits our side to game opposite a 3/4 count. Do you want to be there opposite a 3/4 count? It will be good IFF partner happens to have the CK. Spade or diamond cards are completely useless, since I cant get to his hand to cash them, and the HK or Q might prevent them from attacking hearts, but I will still have a fatal weakness in one of the pointed suits. Now after partner shows hearts my hand gets MUCH better, but its sort of guesswork of what to do over 6H on this auction.

The main point is while the club suit and great controls is an upgrade, both AK tights are downgrades….

Anyway, those are my thoughts…

Leave a comment

Your comment