UNIT 168 CLUB NEWS
- 7/6: Mentor game
- 7/9: Birthday game
- 7/12: Wednesday evening wine & cheese game
- 7/19: Wednesday night Swiss
Also, many games during July will be NAOP qualifying games, Grass Roots Fund games, and other charity games, awarding extra points.
Also note, the member entry fee at HBC is now $8 ($9 for special games)
- 7/10: Swiss Team Game; start time 12:15pm; pre-registration required; make reservations with Andie Sheaffer (717-581-1003)
- 7/10-14: All games at Maple Grove will be Membership Games! Extra points, extra fun!
to the following Unit 168 members on their new master point rank achievements:
Carolyn Fry, Claudia Hostetter, Mary Wills, Patricia Worrall
Allen Mannon, Linda Sheaffer
Samuel Denisi, Daniel Droz
Patricia Grimek-Stover, Henry Heck, Mary Moyer, Joseph Patterson, Richard Rodney, Charles Stoner, Ronald Zimmerman
Shirley Rasmussen, Rebecca Weiss
Silver Life Master:
Dorothy Disney, Jeremy Lynch
WACKY HANDS & GADGETS
- by Dave Bort
In a matchpoint STaC game the other afternoon, with West the dealer and partner and me red against white, I spread my hand to see:
K6 854 AKJ7 KQT5
Then, after West's pass (and with the opponents silent throughout), I am delighted to hear partner start the auction:
(1) Reluctant to open 1N with two doubletons (yes, some might)
(2) 2/1 Game Force
(3) Not a reverse (already in a game-forcing auction), just showing shape
(4) Setting trump suit
(5) Obligatory cue-bid (since we're already in a game force)
(7) Kickback (1430 for Hearts)
(7) 3 keycards in Hearts
(8) Queen-Ask (since we're missing one keycard)
(9) Yes, I have the Heart Queen, partner, but no outside Kings
(10) OK, this should be the right spot
Partner's hand was: North: AT93 AQJ96 84 A4
Although a couple of other pairs made 6, in either Hearts or NT (the trump King is offside), no one else bid the slam, so we got a cold top. Playing Kickback helped, because otherwise (playing NT as 1430 or 0314 for Hearts), we would have either had to settle for a game, or just take a chance on bidding the slam (since we would have lacked a way to inquire about the trump Queen). Also, I credit partner's excellent 4C cue-bid, rather than just settling into a too-comfortable game. After all, the issue isn't whether or not you think you've got a slam, but whether you think you've got a reasonable chance to make 5, hence making exploring for slam a safe enough prospect.
Club Team Game Grand
In a recent team club game, North was dealer with E/W vulnerable with these hands:
West: K52 AKQ852 AQ5 5 East: AQ JT96 KJT AT42
Given a Pass by North, E/W have no particular problem getting to a small slam, and depending on methods, to making grand slam in either Hearts or No Trump. If East opens 1C (yes, 15 points, but an 8-loser hand, with concentration of values in a short suit, so some might not open 1NT), the auction might proceed:
(1) 1430 for Hearts
(2) 2 keycards in Hearts, without the Heart Queen
(3) We have all the keycards and the Queen; partner, tell me about your Kings
(4) I have the Diamond King
(5) I'm just bidding the small slam; it's a club game, so I'll be content to respect any pair who has the methods to decide on a grand (or decry those who blast into it and get lucky!)
(6) Whatever you say, partner
Alternatively, if East opens 1NT, the auction might go:
4N(2) As above
(1) Texas transfer to Hearts
(2) 1430 for Hearts
Or, even further, with a more adventurous and established partnership, we *might* even see:
(1) I think I'll be able to find out about the Diamond King, and since partner opened a NT, I know we've got at least an 8-card fit, hence nearly a 69% chance of the Hearts running, even if partner only has his promised two, so I'm going to try to set up an auction where I can find out about the Spade Queen, which seems to be a critical card for this hand!
(2) 1430 for Spades! (yes, some would play this as quantitative, but hey, I said it was an established partnership)
(3) 2 keycards in Spades, with the Spade Queen
(4) We have all the keycards and the Queen, partner (in Spades!), tell me about your Kings
(5) I have the Diamond King
(6) Whoa, given only that the Hearts run, we've got a laydown grand - I am SO going for it!
So, various rosy scenarios, right? But, look at what happens if the opponents aren't so compliant. As it happens, on this deal, North's hand was:
North: 9 74 9874 KJ8763
I was North, and with an 8-loser hand, white against red, I opened... (wait for it)... 3C! For those of you who complain that Losing Trick Count (LTC) is predicated on a fit, I would point out that the actual odds of partner having at least two cards in your 6-card Club suit are 94% (true)! So, when you have a 6-card suit, you can expect LTC-based bids to be valid, most of the time.
Anyway, at my table, facing excellent opponents, they still managed to find their way to 6H, making 7. Meanwhile, at the other table, the opponent's North also found the opening 3C bid, but our teammates had difficulty with the auction being so jammed up, and only found their way to game. As a fun exercise, how would you and your partner bid the E/W hands, after North opens 3C? For my team, the resulting 12-IMP swing on that board lost us a match that we otherwise would have won (against a great team that included a Grand LM). Sigh, oh well, cue the mantra: "It's only a game". What? You wouldn't have opened the North hand 3C? Then, I'd be happy to play against you (you being so kind to your opponents, and all)!
Next month, I hope to find another example of an auction that recently "got away", where two conventions segue right into each other. And, one of them is in the class of: "Why wouldn't you play that, once you know about it?!" So, stay tuned.