Andre Asbury

Inferences From Canape Bidding

The notes I wrote on my personal scorecard during the Rosenblum are surprisingly not filled with notes and score estimates and marks for which ones might be blog-worthy despite playing at a slower pace than ever before. I guess that should mean that I was concentrating on actually playing rather than winning the post-mortem or finding something interesting to write about on here. I guess we just played some solid defense – and we did have to play a lot of defense. I declared a miniscule 16 hands over the 96 for which Sean and I were in, and he declared only 17. Here is board 20 from the 8th qualifying round against the China Geely Auto team.

The declarer north should have been able to make this 4SX contract against us, given the bidding (and the appropriate alert explanations). Granted, if south had not jumped straight to game, I would have bid hearts and then making the proper inferences would be easier.

Dealer: S

Vul: EW





















West North East South
1 1 X 4
X Pass Pass Pass

It’s not an easy hand under any circumstances, but our bidding certainly helped us here. Partner correctly led a diamond. I took the Q, A, and the heart A and then led another heart, forcing dummy to ruff. How do you plan to take all the tricks from that point. 1D was showed an unbalanced hand with 11-16 hcp, 4+ diamonds, not exactly 4 of either major, but possibly a 5 or more in a major. The double showed 6+ hcp and 3+ hearts. On my side of the screen, I was asked but I don’t know about the other side, which included the declarer.

When north played the ace of spades, partner dropped the Q. Obviously, playing the other high spade will lead to victory but that’s definitely not right. He then played the ace of clubs, under which I played the Q. I was kind of thinking that I need him to play me for a stiff club and Jxx of spades (assuming he also knows I am 5-4 in the reds) and to next finesse into partner’s now stiff J. But he continued with another high club. Now I was sure he would get it right. I am marked with 2-5-4-2 shape, and with north-south only having 18 hcp, it’s nor unreasonable that I doubled on high cards rather than a possible spade trick. But he continued playing me for Jxx of spades by ruffing a club (as I parted with a diamond), then ruffing a heart to lead another heart, attempting some sort of coup since he could not set up clubs and get to them or trump all the hearts and pick up trumps if I had 3 trumps. That would have worked if I started with something like 3-4-4-2 or 3-3-5-2, neither of which are possible distributions for a 1D opener in our canape system. Maybe he didn’t ask about the alerts on his side of the screen.

Note that standard bidders don’t really have any chance to defeat 4S as I would open 1H and get a heart lead, so this can kind of count as a win for canape. We would never get a diamond led through the K and declarer would surely disobey the rule of restricted choice just to avoid letting east in to lead a diamond.

1 Comment

Dave Memphis MOJOOctober 13th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Partner might lead the king(!) of hearts and then switch. Now the spade guess is crucial.

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