Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Mentoring .. the mentor is not always right

I admit that when I am mentoring a decent player I don’t prepare lessons.  My new approach now with Cora is that I pick a bidding area (yesterday’s was strong hands) and we practice bidding and then we play random hands.  Lately we have been using the robots.  The robots are an interesting experience.  In some ways they are perfect opponents.  They play very fast, well really too fast.  They give full disclosure on every bid.  They never fight or argue or complain.  They play rather well.

The problem with playing random hands is that you have to be ready for everything.  Most of the time this is fine.  But sometimes … Here is one of the sometimes.  We were not vulnerable  versus vulnerable (although I don’t know if the robots really play the vulnerability).  I held:






I opened 1NT and it went pass, pass.  Now the Righty Robot balanced with 2 showing 4 or more spades and an unknown minor.  I passed and this is how the auction went

RR Linda LR Cora
1NT pass pass
2 pass 2NT pass
3 pass pass DBL

What does this double mean?  I admit at the time my brain was in sleep mode and I didn’t give it proper thought.  Partner was not good enough to bid over 1NT so no more than 7 points. If I think about it partner is unlikely to have more than two diamonds.  With three spades one imagines that Lefty Robot would pass out two spades and LR has 3 or more diamonds.  There are not enough diamonds left for partner to have more than two.  Partner is quite likely to have spades though.  If I go through this logic partner probably has spades, hearts and clubs and a maximum pass and is doubling for takeout.  In which case I should bid 3.  Should the bid be for takeout always.  I am deducing some of this by looking at my own hand.  Yes, probably.  So I completely goofed when I passed.  Partner made a good bid.  Not only that but when asked I said the bid was penalty.  My brain still asleep.

Here was Cora’s hand.  (It’s true she might have bid over 1NT in the first place).





We probably wouldn’t have reached the best contract of 4 after the original pass.  That was the normal result.  But it would have been better than 3 doubled making.   So Sorry Cora – You Were Right.

I am not turning in my mentoring credentials just yet.  But I will try to think about my bids and my answers more and avoid sleep mode.


LuiseAugust 13th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

What bid do you like over 1NT with Cora’s hand? I don’t think pass does her hand justice, and with a void in diamonds, 1NT has to be a challenging contract. I think I would have bid 2C – stayman, and if partner responds 2D, rebid 3C.

Linda LeeAugust 13th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

I agee with you Luise

LuiseAugust 13th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

The one question I don’t have an answer for though is if partner does show hearts or spades, am I passing over that, or is my hand good enough for an invitation?

Linda LeeAugust 13th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

I think you should invite. Once you have found a major suit fit your hand upgrades.

Bill HigginsAugust 14th, 2010 at 3:06 am

I strongly think you should NOT invite – bid the game. Partner will not be able to make an informed decision over a 3M invite with no knowledge of your diamond shortness. The possibility that you could play 3M -1 actually increases the odds on bidding the game.

Change the ace into a couple of queens and I would favor passing 2M. Avoid 3M when possible.

Linda LeeAugust 14th, 2010 at 9:38 am

You have a good point Bill. It is really hard for partner to know if they have the right hand. But then again they could have the wrong hand. Vulnerable I think it is clear to bid the game. Not vulnerable I think there is an argument for just inviting. Opener can at least look not just at a maximum or a minimum but also whether they have a hand that looks good for suit play, aces and kings, some shape.

However I do believe you would have lots of company and I am fine with your choice of bid.

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