Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

This and that

Playing in the Regional with Colin I was surprised maybe shocked that people had such trouble with the fact that we were playing Multi.  I think if I said that we were playing that two diamonds showed a weak two bid in a major they would have been okay.  I think it is the word Multi.  Even though we provided a defense which they could read during the auction they were not at all happy.  In fact one very experienced pair complained and couldn’t believe that we would be allowed to use such a difficult convention in the top flight of a compact knockout teams.  People play all sorts of really weird things and nobody complains.  What is it about ‘multi”? 

Playing a team game recently this interesting deal came up.   I am going to simply tell you that at one table the East-West pair went for a large number.  This is what happened at the other table. 

South’s Story

♠ KQ976
♥ 63
◊ J92
♣ KJ6

With everyone not vulnerable.  The auction starts off like this:

West North East South
  1◊ 2♣ 2♠
dbl 3◊ 4♣ ?

What do you think the right call is now?  What is going on?  Everyone has a suit of their own but partner did open the bidding, you have a ten count and the clubs sitting over East.  One choice is to double.  Then their is the three card diamond support another choice is to raise diamonds.  You could pass and see what happens next.  What will it be?

I don’t really like pass much but if you do partner will balance 4◊.  Do you raise or is this hanging? 

Your best result is double 4♣.  Passing throughout gets the worst result.  Here is the whole hand.

  ♠ 10  
  ♥ AK7  
  ◊ AK107654  
West ♣ 72 East
♠ 42   ♠ AJ853
♥ QJ10854   ♥ 92
◊ Q83   ◊ —
♣ 53   ♣ AQ10984
  ♠ KQ976  
  ♥ 63  
  ◊ J92  
  ♣ KJ6  


East-West’s Story

I am not sure I am crazy about East’s bidding.  It sounds like the spades lie very badly.  The club suit is good but  4♣ seems a bit rich to me.  He was probably influenced by West’s weak negative double.  If South doubles and you go for a number in 4♣ how would you assign the blame? 

North’s Story

What about North?  If South passes 4♣ I think North might balance double.  Will South pass then?


Chris HasneyApril 15th, 2009 at 5:18 am

Multi is normally banned in all but top level competitions (NABC+ type events), because most folks can’t handle it. Personally I think that it should be allowed in any event where the players are expected to be prepared to play against expert competitors — any flighted event like A/X Swiss, KO Brackets I and II, and Open Pairs (not stratified) should allow them. But again I am in a minority. I happen to think that Swiss events should be stratified A/B/C/D/E/F/G and H if needed so that the minnows can play the sharks for one round of 6 boards. But that would require a lot of work by directors to properly seed the field, so it won’t happen.

MichaelApril 15th, 2009 at 9:20 am

Yeah, Multi is Midchart-6 now after Las Vegas national (stupid to go to 6 IMO – and not allow it in big BAM or pair events). And most places compact KO are not midchart, even in the top bracket. If it is a non-compact KO and every team has an average MP of 1500 (1500 per player, not per team – so 6000 for a team of 4), then at nationals it would be midchart and at sectionals or regional events it can be midchart without needing to be specially mentioned in the tournament advertising.

The A/X of an A/X B/C/D swiss doesn’t necessarily get midchart either.

Even sillier than multi being midchart is Muiderberg 2M bids being midchart. Is it really so hard to defend against a weak bid with a known 5 card major and an unknown 4+ card minor?

lindaApril 15th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

I didn’t even know that Muiderberg 2M were midchart. We were playing them and nobody seemed to care. Since we didn’t know we didn’t provide a defense although I did suggest that they just treat them as a weak 2 in the major and everybody did that.

Multi was definitely allowed in our event.

What I don’t understand is why people think it is so difficult and many other bids and treatments people play are at least as complicated.

PamelaApril 16th, 2009 at 10:52 pm

The hand you mention above I think as the unfortunate (some might say irresponsible ) person at the other table I choose to bid 1Spade over the one diamond. I felt that my hand was an intermediate type hand too good for a michaels ( our system shows spades and another if I bid 2D) so I went 1S and then all hell broke loose. ( of my own making I might add) I also bid 4cl but was doubled and partenr pulled not unreasonably to 4S which was geefully doubled and I went for 1700. I see from best defence which I am sure you and your partner would have found – that 4Cl goes 5 light. a mere 1100. sigh. It was a good start to the team game. I think I might have finally lost my reputation of being a ‘lucky player’ on this deal. Foolhardy might have described it better.

Would others have bid 2D on this hand? Be interesting to get some feedback. I am really only interested in the initial bid for I had absolutely no excuse for bidding my club suit twice and I got what I richly deserved. Alas my poor partner did not – but bridge is a partnership game and one must always take such lessons as this ( or blood rushing to the head) as a salutory lesson.

SondraApril 17th, 2009 at 12:19 am

I think I would have overcalled 2C rather than 1S on the hand. Clubs being longer and stronger. Over a 2D/2H rebid by South, I’d intro my spade suit.

lindaApril 17th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

This is one of those unlucky hands where it is easy to go for a number. I was curious about how we could have done better at our table. I thought there were two ways. I could have balanced double or Colin could have doubled directly. There was also the issue about whether Colin might have bid 5D. We talked about it after and it was pretty inconclusive. Colin is wonderful to have discussions with since it is never about who was at fault but always about what we can learn from the hand.

At our table once Paul bid clubs and heard me bid spades perhaps Paul shouldn’t bid 4C since it doesn’t sound like the hand is lying too well for you. But who knows? It is easy when you see all the hands. Sometimes 6-5 hands are killers not winners!

lindaApril 17th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

By the way I don’t know who told you that you were a lucky player. You may be lucky, I never really noticed but perhaps that is just a way of saying that you have very good bidding judgment even if you didn’t get a good result on this hand.

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