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December 13, 1999
What Went Wrong?

This brief is an excerpt from an article that first appeared in Issue #14 (Sep/Oct 1996) of The Bridge Companion.

Instructions:

Look at each auction and identify which player(s) made the bidding error. Estimate the potential of each hand. Should the distribution adjustment be based on length or shortness methods? Determine the correct auction.

#1

West East
spade.gif (842 bytes)KQ865 spade.gif (842 bytes)A1072
heart.gif (841 bytes)A84 heart.gif (841 bytes)9
diamond.gif (837 bytes)1086 diamond.gif (837 bytes)KQ54
club.gif (841 bytes)K7 club.gif (841 bytes)Q1063

 

West North East South
1spade.gif (842 bytes) Pass 3spade.gif (842 bytes) Pass
Pass Pass

HCP?
Distribution points?
Total points?

What level?
Partscore?
Game?
Proper auction?

#2

West East
spade.gif (842 bytes)AQ64 spade.gif (842 bytes)K872
heart.gif (841 bytes)KQ6 heart.gif (841 bytes)85
diamond.gif (837 bytes)A1086 diamond.gif (837 bytes)532
club.gif (841 bytes)A7 club.gif (841 bytes)6543

 

West North East South
1diamond.gif (837 bytes) Pass 1spade.gif (842 bytes) Pass
4spade.gif (842 bytes) Pass Pass Pass

HCP?
Distribution points?
Total points?

What level?
Partscore?
Game?
Proper auction?

#3

West East
spade.gif (842 bytes)KQ94 spade.gif (842 bytes)AJ103
heart.gif (841 bytes)A62 heart.gif (841 bytes)75
diamond.gif (837 bytes)K6 diamond.gif (837 bytes)A9532
club.gif (841 bytes)A754 club.gif (841 bytes)J6

 

West North East South
1NT Pass 3NT Pass
Pass Pass

HCP?
Distribution points?
Total points?

What level?
Partscore?
Game?
Proper auction?

#4

West East
spade.gif (842 bytes)AJ4 spade.gif (842 bytes)1083
heart.gif (841 bytes)KJ62 heart.gif (841 bytes)97543
diamond.gif (837 bytes)KQ63 diamond.gif (837 bytes)52
club.gif (841 bytes)K7 club.gif (841 bytes)864

 

West North East South
1NT Pass 2heart.gif (841 bytes) Pass
3heart.gif (841 bytes) Pass Pass Pass

HCP?
Distribution points?
Total points?

What level?
Partscore?
Game?
Proper auction?

#5

West East
spade.gif (842 bytes)AK54 spade.gif (842 bytes)963
heart.gif (841 bytes)J8 heart.gif (841 bytes)765
diamond.gif (837 bytes)K64 diamond.gif (837 bytes)Q9532
club.gif (841 bytes)AK75 club.gif (841 bytes)96

 

West North East South
1NT Pass Pass Pass


HCP?
Distribution points?
Total points?

What level?
Partscore?
Game?
Proper auction?

#6

West East
spade.gif (842 bytes)AKQ spade.gif (842 bytes)1093
heart.gif (841 bytes)1062 heart.gif (841 bytes)AK95
diamond.gif (837 bytes)AK63 diamond.gif (837 bytes)QJ2
club.gif (841 bytes)754 club.gif (841 bytes)986

 

West North East South
1diamond.gif (837 bytes) Pass 1heart.gif (841 bytes) Pass
1NT Pass Pass Pass

HCP?
Distribution points?
Total points?

What level?
Partscore?
Game?
Proper auction?

#7

West East
spade.gif (842 bytes)KJ752 spade.gif (842 bytes)9
heart.gif (841 bytes)AJ2 heart.gif (841 bytes)KQ985
diamond.gif (837 bytes)J853 diamond.gif (837 bytes)AQ1092
club.gif (841 bytes)4 club.gif (841 bytes)J6

 

West North East South
1diamond.gif (837 bytes) Double Pass
4spade.gif (842 bytes) Pass Pass Pass

HCP?
Distribution points?
Total points?

What level?
Partscore?
Game?
Proper auction?

The answers:

#1
East must bear all of the responsibility. The correct denomination is spades, but 3spade.gif (842 bytes) is only invitational (11-12 points). Unlucky that West only had 13 and a clear pass. With just a little more West would have bid 4spade.gif (842 bytes) anyway. East must get the hand to game. East should bid 2club.gif (841 bytes) or 2diamond.gif (837 bytes) (forcing) and then 4spade.gif (842 bytes) (such as this example) unless opener shows a maximum hand (19-21) in which case slam is possible.

#2
Once again East is at fault. The danger in bidding even once with the East hand is that you might get too high. Spades is a better strain than diamonds, but better plus in 1diamond.gif (837 bytes) than -50 or -100 in 4spade.gif (842 bytes).

#3
East 100% to blame. 3NT has 8 tricks and will likely fail on a heart lead. The proper contract is 4spade.gif (842 bytes). East should use Stayman (2club.gif (841 bytes)) in an effort to locate the 4-4 major suit fit.

#4
This time West is at fault. The 2heart.gif (841 bytes) response by East is signoff and instructs West to pass. The 3heart.gif (841 bytes) rebid just moved the partnership into likely minus territory. 2heart.gif (841 bytes) would be tough enough!

#5
East again at fault. The weak hand with a five card diamond suit will play much better in a 2diamond.gif (837 bytes) than in 1NT. 1NT will most likely take only five tricks going down two. Eight tricks are the most likely in a 2diamond.gif (837 bytes) contract. The East hand will contribute tricks to a diamond contract and contribute nothing to a no trump contract.

#6
West is at fault this time around. If you fail to open a balanced 16 to 18 point hand with 1NT it almost impossible to describe later. This hand has two weak suits, but the best action is still to open 1NT. Opening 1diamond.gif (837 bytes) and rebidding 1NT describes a balanced hand with 13 to 15 points. Opening 1diamond.gif (837 bytes) and rebidding 2NT describes a balanced hand with 19 to 21 points. In this case the penalty for not opening 1NT was to miss an almost sure 3NT game.

#7
East was right on one count. The East should get into the bidding after a 1diamond.gif (837 bytes) opening on his right. The error was in choosing HOW to enter the auction. A takeout double promises support for all unbid suits and asks partner to choose the suit. East should overcall 1heart.gif (841 bytes) which West should raise directly to 4heart.gif (841 bytes). 4heart.gif (841 bytes) might well make 11 tricks. 4spade.gif (842 bytes) might make book.

Thanks!
Gary King

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