Monday, September 22, 2008

Shame on nearly everyone

Playing online bridge last Wednesday, Mette and I bid a grand slam on board #2 (hands rotated):

10 9 5 4
J 9
A 10 6 2
K Q 8 2 J 7 6 3
10 8 4 2 --
7 2 8 5 4 3
J 9 4 K Q 8 7 3
K 9 7 6 5 3
A K Q 10 6

North South
1NT 2
4 4NT
5 7
I was South. Have you seen a hand that is more tailor-made for Keycard Blackwood? When partner showed two keycards and the Q (her 5 bid), bidding the grand was easy. I knew we would gain some IMPs in this field, and didn't give the deal too much thought at the time. It looked too easy.

Later, when I checked the scores, I was surprised to see that only 10 out of 66 pairs bid the grand slam. When I looked closer, here's what I saw:

One pair played 1. I have to assume that the responding hand looked at the auction wrong or misclicked. Shame on him.

One pair bid to 3NT. The North hand never supported his partner. Extra shame on him.

There were 25 pairs who bid to 4. That's not very good bidding. Shame on them.

Pairs on OKbridge announce their systems when they arrive at the (virtual) table. Most of them claim to be playing RKC. If that's the case, more than nine pairs should bid to seven. Let's see why pairs bid only 6.

Nine pairs bid 6 by jumping to slam. Usually it was the South hand, but occasionally the North hand. Slow down, folks. They don't give you extra IMPs for fast bidding. For the pairs who leapt to the small slam, shame on them.

Seven pairs bid 6 by bidding 4NT and hearing a 5 response.They didn't have enough information to bid 7. Shame on them for playing an inferior method (or misresponding).

Seven pairs arrived at slam after 4NT, hearing a 5 response and still bidding only 6! They are card pushers who don't think. Extra shame on them.

Four pairs bid 6 on miscellaneous auctions that are too weird to categorize. Shame on them.

One player bid 7NT. He had no way of knowing about his partner's J -- he took a shot in the dark. Remember, it's IMPs, and 7NT and 7 score the same! Shame on him

Nine pairs bid 7. Two had auctions where they "guessed" to bid the grand slam. If you can't count 13 tricks, you shouldn't bid a grand. This is advice that even beginners should know. Shame on them.

Finally, seven pairs (out of 66) had auctions similar to ours. Hearts were raised, 4NT was invoked and the 5 response meant that dummy would render the values to make 7 a good proposition.

Bidding and making 7 scored 10.52 IMPs. There's no shame in wanting to see what everyone did, and you can do that by clicking here.

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