Andre Asbury

Found the 4-4 Heart Fit, Then Decided to Play in Spades

Vision Airlines actually does exist and the $119 round trip from Atlanta to Louisville wasn’t bad. Neither flight had more than a dozen people on a 30 seat Dornier 328 propeller plane – not any less comfortable than the Canadair planes that Delta uses for the ATL-SDF route. However, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone stay up all night, take an early flight home Monday morning, drive an hour and half to get to work, and work nearly a full day. I guess the hour I slept on the plane was enough to get me through the day, but as soon as I got home I slept for 13 straight hours.

My good results in very limited playing time continued, kind of. Sean Gannon and I were 49th in the 2 day NABC IMP Pairs out of 294 that entered, which actually isn’t so amazing but it is the first time either of us have placed overall in an open NABC event. While I bid and defended nearly flawlessly, my declarer play those 2 days was not up to par. Later on, I shall write about how I managed to cost us 30+ imps going down in a cold 3NT and a cold 3X.

This hand was board 5 in the final session of the NABC IMP Pairs. In the next to last round, Jenni Carmichael and Owen Lien, who I know very well, came to our table.

Dealer: N

Vul: NS




Explanation of the auction:
1 was either a balanced 12-14 or any 17+.
1 was 7+ unbalanced (or 9+ balanced) with 4+ , possibly with any longer side suit.
3 was a game forcing raise, but I could have made a (mini-)splinter raise or bid 4 with a flat minimum game-force.
4 was a non-serious cue. 3NT would have been a serious slam try.
4NT was RKC and 5 showed 2 w/o the Q.

We found a 4-4 fit that most people will never find but then decided against the theory that 4-4 fits play better. A standard auction will start 1-2. Then north may make a help suit game try in hearts (which would really be a help suit slam try) and get to 6 when south bids raises the help suit or bids 4.

East started with two top diamonds, west showed out on the first spade and east showed out on the second heart. Good news so far. 6 was definitely not making. So, I could go ahead and cash the third top heart and run trumps to try for a simple squeeze of hearts and clubs against west, coming down to a 2 card ending of x x in hand with AQ in dummy with west definitely having to hold his winning heart. Or I could take a straight up club finesse at any point, but probably after seeing if either defender squirms after a several pitches. Neither line is technically better than the other but I took the finesse which turned out to be right. Making the slam was worth 9.22 imps. I loved our auction!


Jeff LehmanMarch 17th, 2011 at 10:53 am

The bridge column of today’s NY Times showed this hand. At the table the column featured, SOUTH managed to be the declarer at 6S. After winning trick one by overtaking the diamond lead, East switched to the C8. Needing only a 3-2 heart split to make slam, declarer did not risk the club finesse at Trick 2 and proceeded to be set one when the heart split was later divulged.

Andre AsburyMarch 17th, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I bet I would have gone down on that defense, too. I still like our auction better!

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