Tuesday, September 2, 2008

You Be The Judge

Many years ago, The Bridge World ran a column called "You Be The Judge". TBW would present a famous disaster and ask a panel to assess blame. The East-West hands were shown and an august panel would answer two questions:

(a) What was West's percentage of the blame for the final result?

(b) What was the single worst call [or play] of the hand?

I liked this column a lot. It was discontinued about a decade ago, so I don't feel awful about 'borrowing' the format.

By the way, if I haven't said this before, TBW is the one tool that every bridge player needs. Looking back on my bridge life, the thing that primed my brain for high-level competition and brought my game from middling-intermediate to expert is reading my Bridge World every month cover to cover and reading any back issue I could get my hands on. I was thrilled a few months ago to be able to buy over 100 back issues from the 1950s to the 1980s. Hopefully in a few decades my collection will be filled in. Hardly a night goes by that I don't read at least one back issue in bed before falling asleep. If you don't currently have a subscription, get one. If you already have one, get one for your favorite partner.

So let's get judgmental!
Dealer: West
Vul: Both
Scoring: IMPs



1♦ - 2♦;
3♦ - 3NT;

Playing a strong notrump based system, West opened a natural diamond. East made an invitational or better raise with 2♦. When West rebid 3♦, East bid 3NT and West let it sit.

3NT made 4 on a spade lead. Obviously, 6♦ is laydown unless an opponent has Axxxx of hearts, and would have made at the table, giving E-W some very nice neckwear. As it was, they 'settled' (happily, may I add) for 6th overall in the World IMP Pairs in Verona, Italy, in the summer of 2006.

So-- the two questions for you, loyal readers:

(a) What is West's percentage of the blame?
(b) What was the single worst call?


Collins said...

My 2 cents.

3N is the problem. West had a minimum opener and given the system (2d could be just a limit raise) 3D was West's bid. So...

worst call: 3N.

% blame to west: 0%.

McKenzie said...

What's your suggested call by East at his second turn?

Collins said...

I'm not 100% comforable with the methods. (I like 2D to have established a game force).

That said, I think 3S shows interest in bigger things and depending upon your cue bidding agreements ought to get something useful out of partner.

I think 3S shows (depending upon agreements) either 1st or 1st or 2nd round control of spades and denies the same for hearts.

My agreements are that 4D by either partner once Q-ing has started (or trump agreement and GF established) would be minorwood and that in a minorwood auction, 4N is a signoff.

I don't know if that is optimal or standard but that is what I have agreed with the partners with whom I play minorwood.

Noble said...

70% West for treating that nice hand as a minimum (what if pard has Axx Axx Kxxx xxx for instance, game is cold). 30% blame to the partnership for not having better agreements.

Noble said...

However you think the auction should go, West's rebid is certainly 2h IMO. After that it could go something like: ..2n-3d-3s-3n-4d-5d-6d

McKenzie said...

What do you think of a 3S rebid by West?

Kevin said...

West's second call should be 2H. His 3D call denies a Heart stopper. That 3D is a strong candidate for the worst call.

After East's 3NT, West knows East has both Majors stopped. West might be able to venture another forward-going bid, so his PASS is another candidate . . .

but East's 3NT is another leading candidate. East is far too strong to settle for game, except that West's 3D bid seems to deny holding one or both of AK Hearts.

Thus West's 3D call is the winner as the worst call.

That gives West 100 percent of the blame.

tinker said...

I give west 20% blame for not finding a 2H bid even if it shows X-tra values that he doesn't have. Vul at IMPS you're not going to stop short of game once pard force-raises your six card suit; you might as well be in the right game and 2H is the way to find out which is right... and also the way to get to a bad slam. Hey, life's full of risks.

But 3N is a poor bid. You have to at least *try* to show something of your big hand with 3S.

Memphis MOJO said...

I give West 90% of the blame. You simply can't rebid 3D -- that shows a weak hand. This is a good hand after the raise.

I like a 3S rebid (but would accept 2H). If partner bids 3NT over that, you are comfortable passing because he's been warned about the shortness. It just happens to be a bonus that after that, East can see the perfect fitter and move to slam using whatever keycard ask he plays.

I shared the hand with two friends. One bid 2H and one bid 3S. Both thought 3D was unacceptable.

Noble said...

I think a 3s bid is OK if you're playing Precision. I don't like it playing 2/1 since your hand could be WAY better and partner has so little room after that.