Part 3: Vanderbilt Victory – Second Quarter, Advantage Amoils
Just about every swing went Amoils way in the second quarter. By the end of the second quarter Diamond had scored 9 imps for a total of 25 while Amoils had scored 47 imps for a total of 71.
A lot of the time it is all about the bidding and Board 22 was an example of that. It was one of those hands where players competitive spirit plays a role or as one of the commentators said; “Let the fireworks start.”
Starting in the Closed Room West is dealer. I am going to show all four hands.
East-West is vulnerable and Moss is first to bid. I remember something about 6-5 come alive but here the vulnerability is unfavorable for heroics and Moss passes. Cheek who is operating on the fun side of the vulerability decides to open his hand a gambling 3NT which in there system shows a solid suit with an outside king. I have never liked that bid much and in fact don’t usually play it if I have a choice. Is this a good hand for it? It seems to me like you have too much especially at favorable vulnerability. Gitelman who had defense whatever declarer’s suit turned out to be was content to pass opposite a passed partner. 3NT got passed out. The whole auction was one bid! Gitelman started a top club and with the bad diamond break the hand was doomed for at least two down. In fact declarer went three down for +150 for the Diamond team. This didn’t look too bad since a spade game looks to be quite a challenge.
In the Open Room the auction also started with a pass. Diamond opened with one diamond which showed two plus diamonds and 11-15 points. He certainly had all of that. He did play gambling 3NT in much the same way as Cheek but judged (as I would have) that he was too good for that bid. West passed and North bid 1NT. Now the action started. Unfavorable vulnerability or note, Del’Monte was not going to be shut out with 6-5 (he is Aussie, you know) and bid two diamonds showing majors. Diamond bid two hearts which apparently showed a heart stopper and denied a spade stopper. Bessis who had a good hand for the auction bid the spade game. Now this put a lot of pressure on Platnick. The opponents just bid a vulnerable game with lots of shape. Partner apparently does not have a spade card. Your side has the balance of the high cards but just. And you know that Del’Monte has a lot of distribution. Now what does this auction actually mean? Can you tell what partner has? Does Diamond have to have clubs?
Obviously Platnick knows more about there system and style than I do. But one train of thought might be:
“The two heart bid is a try for notrump. Diamond has a limited hand but thinks he has tricks opposite my limited (1NT) response. He probably has solid diamonds, a heart stopper and maybe something in clubs. Why didn’t he open Gambling 3NT?
Maybe he has something like
x Kx AKQ9xx Qxxx
Is that consistent with the bidding so far? “
As you can tell it is hard for a third party to understand all the nuances of this auction. It is probably even be hard for a participant. So Platnick took out “insurance” against the spade game and bid five clubs. Diamond corrected to diamonds and Bessis found the double. This went for 500 which would have been an okay save if you could make the spade game. But you can’t quite. The defenders will come to two hearts, a spade and a diamond most likely. 8 imps for Amoils
Which all leads back to the idea that maybe 6-5 come alive is not such a bad idea. Or maybe I should learn to love Gambling 3NT.