Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Some of the deadly sins

Some years ago we were going to publish a book called the seven deadly sins of bridge but the author hasn’t completed the manuscripts yet.  I was thinking about that book after we finished play yesterday.  Here is one hand where I committed the sin of greed but the auction was quite pretty up to that final moment.

I held quite a nice hand

S A103 H K3 D AKQ8752 C A

Here was our auction up to the point the greed stepped in.

Linda Colin
1C* 2D*
3D 4D
4NT 5C
5NT 6D

Colin’s 2D bid showed 8-11 high card points.  Everything else was natural and 5C showed one keycard.  Now my thinking at this point was that Colin had denied the CK and even just a little would make 7 possible.  For example if held S KXX H AQX D XXX C XXXX it is cold.  So, yes I bid 7 and it had no real play when Colin held S Qxx H A102 D J103 C Q764.  6 can be made any number of ways on the lie of the cards and is a very good contract.  I don’t think any other pair had reached 6D by the time we played the hand.

Now with other partners I wouldn’t have had any temptation.  Since over 4D partner would have responded with controls starting 0-1.  So Colin would have bid 4S showing either both black kings or the heart ace and no kings and there would be basically no chance for the grand.  (I can find out about the heart AQX but not about the AQJx which would be the only other chance).  Colin has added control asking but not in this type of auction.  I want it here too.   So I suppose I need more system to control my greed.

Now here is a hand that might qualify for the sin of gluttony and it is a situation that often seems to come up over 10-12 notrump.  This time it is Colin’s turn.  He held S K1085 H AJ82 D Q7 C J65.  I  opened 1NT 10-12.  This 11 point hand very rarely makes game if I have a fitting hand.  Even if I have a major suit game is going to be a big stretch.  When you bid Stayman on this hand you really don’t want to hear 2D because you don’t want to rebid 2NT you want to rebid 1NT.  I have found more success in passing this hand.  It is amazing how often opponents back into the auction and you can often catch them for a bit of a number.  As it turned out I bid 3NT with

S J7 H 654 D A9853 C AK2 and it did have some play especially if diamonds behave, but the hand did not lie very well at all.  Bidding 2C on this hand is like bidding is similar to bidding over a strong notrump with 6 points (one could argue 7 point because hands tend to play better when the points are more evenly divided).

Now a hand that is an example of anger.  You may not approve of my opening bid but I think with a good 11 you should open and our system notes concur.  I held S A103 H AK742 D 964 C 32

I opened 1H and when Colin bid a forcing notrump I responded 2D (wishing that 1NT was not forcing!).  Colin gave me no choice and bid 4H.

The opening lead was a small spade and East Jack forced my ace.  How do you play this hand?  Let me say that I wasn’t too happy to be in 4H but this contract does have chances.  What is the best one.   My approach which didn’t get enough thought, hence the sloth was to play for everything right, clubs 3-3 with the king onside and the diamond king onside,  I still had to negotiate 7 trump tricks somehow.  So I started with a club to the CQ which held and the club ace and a club ruff.  All had gone perfectly.  Do you see my best chance now?  I need to play for the HQ doubleton.  If its there then I have 10 tricks. There is another chance too.  If I cash the top hearts and the queen doesn’t come down, if the diamond ace is onside and the heart queen is in the other hand I can get to dummy on the diamond king and run clubs until the opponents ruff in and the heart jack will still provide an entry to the rest of the clubs (not to mention a spade ruff). 

I just didn’t think about the hand because I wasn’t happy about being in this contract.  And the worst part was that the HQ was doubleton and the hand was cold.

This was the strangest auction of the night and no sins were committed by  our side but the opponents aided our efforts with a auction that demonstrated the sin of pride.  Let’s look at the hand from Colin’s perspective.  Noone is vulnerable.  West opened 2H and Colin held S QJ2 H K104 D AQ942 C K10.  He overcalled 2NT and East doubled.  I passed and West ran to 3H.  When this was passed to me I bid 3NT and noone doubled.  What could I have?  If you suspect clubs you are going to be right. 

  S 1085  
  H A  
  D 87  
  C AJ97543  
East   West
  S QJ2  
  H K104  
  D AQ942  
  C K10  

The opening lead was the SA and Colin dropped the SJ from his hand (a nice card) but this was not going to fool East who was a fine player.  He switched to the H9.  Colin won the HA and crossed back to his hand on the CK.  West played the C8 and East played the C2.  When Colin lead the C10 East followed with the C^ and Colin correctly played the CJ and soon made 5NT which was worth a game swing.  What did everyone have?

  S 1085  
  H A  
  D 87  
East C AJ97543 West
S AK963   S 74
H 92   H QJ87653
D K106   D J53
C Q62   C 8
  S QJ2  
  H K104  
  D AQ942  
  C K10  

I don’t agree with our opponents bidding on this hand and it was very helpful to our cause.  Obviously West should have opened 3H and I have no idea why she chose 2H.  I think East was too proud of his hand.  While he could expect more from his partner we almost certainly could play the hand in a minor and even if his partner had a more typical weak 2 bid they were not going to be happy doubling 3 of a minor.  Not only that but I can easily construct hands where 2NT makes and no more and partner will sit for it.  What do you think?  Perhaps I am being too harsh.

Finally one hand where Colin made a fine bid which shows perhaps that when you have a chance at a vulnerable game you should be greedy.  Colin held

S void H Q1082 D AQJ542 C A86.

All vulnerable.  He opened 1D and I responded 1H.  Here is how the auction proceeded keeping in mind that East had made a few strange (tactial, pyschic?) bids in previous hands.

West Colin East Linda
  1D pass 1H
1S 2S 3NT pass
pass ?    

Colin bid 4H.  Do you like that bid?  This went all pass and I held

S 83 H AJ95 D 983 C Q1095

With the heart king onside this was an easy make.  BY the way if he passes 3NT and I lead a diamond we take the first 11 tricks, down 7 for +700.

Here is the whole hand.

  H Q1082  
  D AQJ542  
West C A86 East
S AKQ74   S J109652
H 74   H K63
D K7   D 106
C KJ42   C 73
  S 83  
  H AJ95  
  D 983  
  C Q1095  


The simple 4S bid here by East was going to work better.  I expect we will sell to 4S doubled and that will go 2 down for -500 and a small win.

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