Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Boston NABC: Open Board-A-Match

On Sunday, I played the first day of the Open Board-A-Match with Jenni Carmichael. Jenni is an old friend, but this was our first time playing together [outside of the midnight game]. We decided to play a version of Transfer Precision with lots of fun stuff. Our teammates, T.C. Yang and Li-Chung Chen, played vanilla two-over one.

A quick word about Board-A-Match [BAM]: This is a team of four event that looks a lot like a pair game. You play two boards against one team at the same time your teammates are playing the same boards against their teammates. It's scored like matchpoints, but your score only gets compared with what happens at the other table. The three possibilities are to lose the board [zero points], tie the board [half a point], or win the board [one point]. It doesn't matter how much better you do than the other table's result – beating them by 10 points gets you the same “win” as beating them by 1000 points.

Here's an example of BAM bridge:

I held

954 753 QT32 AQ4.

Nobody was vulnerable, and partner opened 1NT [14-16]. My RHO overcalled a Cappeletti 2C, showing an unspecified long suit. I passed, LHO bid a forced 2D, and RHO showed his suit with 2H. I passed this as well. Jenni made the good decision to reopen with a double with

AK87 T4 KJ95 K85.

RHO passed, and I pulled to 3D. LHO bid 3H, which got passed around to me. Now, I certainly couldn't see the five tricks we'd need to set 3H, but I doubled anyway. I felt that our cards could easily go +90, +110, or +120 at the other table, so if we were about to go -140, a double wouldn't cost anything. But if we're about to go +50, a double turns it into +100, beating the possible 90 at the other table. And if we're about to set it two for +100, double would turn it into +300 which beats any possible partscore result. The only time that double would cost was if our teammates were also in 3H and 3H was making. The chances of both of those things being true was so miniscule that double is going to be right more than 90% of the time.

At the other table, our teammates were indeed in 3H... but they went down the same two tricks as our opponents did. +300 at our table and -100 at theirs adds up to a win!

In the first session, we scored 16 points out of a possible 26, a very good score. We dropped down to twelve and a half (a touch below average) in the second set, but we qualified for the second day quite comfortably. In the second day, we didn't do much of anything, and ended up half a board shy of the overalls.

Two problems:

(A) All red

3 Q954 T32 K9872

You pass in first seat. LHO opens 1C, RHO bids 1S, LHO lifts to 2S, and RHO hops to 4S. This gets passed around to partner, and she doubles. What's your lead?

(B) All red

T762 76 KJ9862 J

There are three passes around to partner, who opens 1C [strong, artificial, and forcing]. LHO overcalls 1H, you double [artificial, 5-7 HCP], and LHO jumps to 3H. Partner doubles [takeout]. RHO passes. What's your call?


McKenzie said...

(A) I led a low heart, and gave up a doubled overtrick. A low club lead won't beat it double-dummy, but it probably will at the table. Pard held JT94 T82 AJ7 AJ3 and declarer had Q8752 AK6 K9864 none. Oops.

(B) I thought my three choices were 3S, 4D, and 5D. I decided to go with the middle road and bid 4D. Partner raised to five. I played it fairly well to make six, only to push the board with 4S making 4 at the other table. Pard held AQ9 Q AQ75 AQ876.

Noble said...

(A) diamond

If we can contribute any trick to the defense, we will set. Let's make sure we don't blow any tricks on the lead.

(B) 3s (guess)
I'm not used to these methods after interference; I think 4d, 4s, and 5d are also reasonable calls.

I strongly prefer playing double as game forcing and having direct bids be limited against low-level interference. That way when this happens you can safely bid at your next call without worrying that it will be passed out. If I had bid a natural limited 2d at my previous turn then I would bid an easy 3s now.