Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bidding up the line

Playing online bridge last night with Xwing, I picked up this hand:
A 9 8 7 6 4 3 2 A 10 6 3 Q --.

Partner opened 1. I responded 1 and partner rebid 3. I have agreements about this bid with some of my partners, but not with Xwing. Puzzled, I looked again and saw that I had not responded 1 as I thought -- I had bid 1 instead!

I don't think there's a good way to recover, but the good news is that we had found a 4-4 fit. What would you do? I finally decided to bid 6. I have an eight-card suit on the side -- let's keep that a secret, okay?

These are all four hands:

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

West led the A and there wasn't a whole lot to the play. I set up my spade suit, playing two high trumps along the way. Then I ran my spades and West could ruff in whenever he pleased, but I had the rest and a 10.51-IMP pick-up.

After I claimed, I expected the opponents to give me the third degree about the bizarre way I had bid the hand. Instead, they said nothing. Xwing told me later that if they questioned me, I should say I was bidding up the line. Ha ha.

Most of the field was in 4, making either five or six, depending on how they played the spade suit. Two pairs were bold enough to bid all the way to 2. Guess what? They made their contract. I couldn't make this stuff up.

Out of 72 tables, there were four other maniacs pairs who bid to 6. Three of us made the slam in hearts, but two pairs went down! One pair was in 7 doubled and another in 6NT doubled. Both contracts failed, of course. You can see how two pairs bid all the way to 2 and what all the players did if you click here.

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