Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

These Things Happen

I was going through the final session of the quarterfinals of the US Team Trials this morning.   In the closest match number 3 seed Aker lost to the 6th seed Wolfson by 12 imps.  Board 109 was a 12 imp swing to the winners.  It was a bidding mistake in what would normally be a pretty routine four spade game.  I am not familiar with their system which is a form of Precision, nor does the system summary on the website have the details I need.  It does seem to be pretty routine.


♠ A1074









This is the auction as it was described by the commentators.

West North East South
pass pass pass
2 pass 2 pass
2 pass 2 pass
3 pass 4 ?

2 showed 6 clubs and an opener.  2 apparently  asks about majors and 2 shows s four card major.  2 asks again and 3 shows four spades.    East bid 2 which apparently he thought confirmed spades as the trump suit.  Now East continued with 3 its not clear what that meant.  Somewhere around here the auction got lost in the ether.  East continued 4 which was passed out.

Now I don’t know what their actual understanding was.  I don’t know if somebody was outside the bounds of the system book.  But this does seem like a pretty basic auction in their system.

As I look at this very big oops I have two emotions.  One, please don’t let this happen to me when it matters this much and two I am so sorry that it happened to you.

I have had my share of oops lately so I know just how it can happen.


jeff akerMay 15th, 2011 at 1:12 am

I got the unfortunate tale later in the (sad for our team) postmortem. 3h showed not only 4 spades, but short diamonds and some extras. Barry now over-enthusiastically visualized magic and cue bid –in principle he couldn’t have a heart one suiter to bid this way, but Josh wasn’t sure, and there they were. It’s not like there weren’t other places to pick up the 12 imps.

Linda LeeMay 16th, 2011 at 9:07 am

You make a good point. It is best to confirm the trump suit before cuebidding. If 3S is forcing (as I assume it must be) than Barry might have started with that. That leaves room for West to show extra or not. The other problem with 4H is even if understood as a cuebid there is little space over it to nudge to slam and the partnership would likely have found themselves in a slightly risky 5S. 3S here was the way to go if you wanted to start things rolling to slam.

You sound like a wonderful supportive team. Yes, this hand specifically did not cost the match.

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