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RedZ Common Game Analysis June 8, 2021

Board 1. This hand will be either very easy and E-W will get a good result if they bid four spades as they will make 5 from the West side. What makes this hand interesting – is South’s decision – if South passes over East’s 1 diamond opener – then W will bid a spade and East can get excited make a game try in spades – which West will most likely accept. When South bids 2clubs – suddenly West has a very difficult problem – a free bid of 2 spades should promise 5, a double implies both hearts and spades, pass seems cowardly, so an easy decision to show a four card spade suit will most likely be a double – and then to make matters worse for E-W – North now has an easy 3 club bid. East has a dilemma – a likely Spade fit – but will a 3 spade bid end the auction? 3 spades is likely the best call East could make. At this point South could pass, and West would have to make a choice – bid 4 spades or show the diamond fit by bidding 4 diamonds? To make a long story short – the benefits to south bidding 2 clubs far outweigh the costs – at least in this hand, besides – what lead do you want North to make? There are now more possible outcomes than 4 spades – there can be 5 clubs doubled – down 2 for 300 – which is better than 450; There can be 5 diamonds by East – which is down 1 on a heart lead – so a plus 50; Note the spade suit is now wrong sided as East had to mention Spades first – so E-W can only make 10 tricks – after a heart lead. Also notable – East can still make 11 tricks in Spades if South tries to cash the club ace instead of leading a heart – East will ruff the club lead, play the A and King of spades – then run diamonds – North can ruff in – and try to return a club – when East will ruff – and take 5 diamond tricks, 2 club ruffs, and 4 spades for 11 tricks (losing either a club or a heart a trick thirteen) I guess the moral of the story – fortune favors the brave. As an aside – I won’t go into such depth for each board, and I won’t do all the boards as this is sort of a last minute thing.

Board 2. This board will likely have one of two outcomes – either 3 spades making or 4 spades down 1. When east picks his opening bid it will most likely be 2clubs or 1 spade – though some folks might open 4 diamonds – which is a namyats bid – showing a good hand with 8 spades. In which case West plays the hand at 4 spades. Here the 2 club bid (a 3 loser hand – 1 spade loser; 1 heart loser; one diamond loser) works out the best if partner has a double negative response available – then a (disciplined) East should stop short of game. I suppose it could go 1 spade all pass – as North may not want to balance vulnerable with a third of his points wasted in spades. East can take 9 tricks – losing 1 or 2 hearts; 1 diamond; and 1 or two spades. When East loses 2 hearts – its because he didn’t ruff with the spade singleton – which could be caused by south leading a spade – and in this case East loses only 1 spade – so four losers appear unavoidable.

Board 3. This is another weird hand – it should go pass pass; and north should open 1 club (unless playing precision) – whereupon East can either bid 1 spade or pass. Then south will (most likely) bid 1 spade – west will pass, and North will bid 1 no trump. Now the vulnerable East – will likely pass – and if the defense is spot on – they will take 3 spades, 3 hearts and the Ace of clubs – for seven tricks and plus 50.

Board 4. 7-4 distribution vs 6-5 – not boring. This is a big case of points-shmoints – I think – once E-W find the spade fit – they won’t let N-S play 4 hearts – The problem – how to bid the East hand, the book says length first – but the rewards of the spade suit are greater than the diamond suit… The auction could go –

W: P N: 1 C E: 1S S:X*

W: 2S N:3H** E: 4D S: 4H

W: 4S N:P*** E: P S: X

(*showing hearts – some folks might insist on 2 hearts because you have 5 – me personally, I would temper my enthusiasm for the heart suit with worry about a bad club fit if partner does not have hearts, so I would double.) (** Some folks might pass thinking 3 hearts an overbid) (*** Forcing – partner you choose between double and bidding) Which looks a lot like the double dummy analysis.

Board 5. I think this hand will normally stop short of game. I also don’t think many people would find the 5 heart sacrifice – if the n-s pair found the makable game. I think the auction goes like this (at most tables):

N:P E:P S:1C W: P

N:1S E:P S:2S W: P

N:GT E:P S:3S All pass I think North does not have enough to force to game, and south has nothing extra and should decline the invitation.

Board 6. This hand is not so interesting, save for the fact East could make 3 no trump. I don’t think there is a legitimate way to bid 3no trump with the e-w hands. I think the auction would go something like this:

E:P S: 1D W: 1S N:P

E:1N S: P W: 2N N:P

E: P (no extras) All pass.

Board 7. Double dummy – 3 no trump is makable – mostly by the 6 diamond tricks made by North overtaking the King of diamonds – otherwise N-S does not have the values to bid game:

One possible auction:

S:1H W:P N:1N* E: P

S:2C W:P N:3D** E:P

S:P*** AP

So 1N – artificial and forcing; 3D – invitational with 6 diamonds P – not at the top of the range

Board 8. A weird hand – most likely this hand will be played by EW at 3 diamonds.

W: 1D N:X E:1S S:P

W: 2D N:P E:P S:P

Though there a lot of Easts might pass making South bid 1 Heart and West bid 2 Diamonds; followed by North bidding 2 hearts – and all pass; So E-W is protected by the 5 point spade bid and penalized if East is silent.

Board 9. While double dummy E-W can make 2 spades – I don’t see any way to arrive at that contract I think its more likely N-S play 3 hearts down 2; Here’s a sample auction:

N:1C E:P S:1H W:P

N:2H E:X* S:P W:3D

N:P E:P S:3H

Board 10. 3 no trump looks like the right spot and is makable on the lay of the cards:

E: P S: P W: P N: 1C

E: P S: 2C* W: P N:2N

E: P S: 3N All Pass

2 clubs, in this sequence should be invitational – but not forcing – sort of a passed inverted minor call. As long as N plays on clubs nine tricks should be easy 3 hearts, 2 diamonds, and 4 clubs. Note – a diamond lead should not be held up as an immediate switch to spades would doom the contract as the defense could collect 1 diamond, 3 spades and 1 club.

Board 11.

S: P W: 1N N: P E:2C (Stayman)

S: P W: 2D N: P E: 3N

So after a likely Heart lead – E-W will score, 2 Hearts, 3 Diamonds, 3 Clubs – and 2 Spades.

Board 12. Its good to be N-S on this hand – but there is duplication of values in the club suit – so I don’t think most pairs will find the slam.

W: P N: 1S E:P S: 2C

W: P N: 3S E:P S:3N

W: P N: 4S E:P S:P

Board 13. It looks like there is a clear road to four hearts by N-S. The play seems pretty straightforward with N-S losing two clubs given the favorable position of the Diamond Q.

N: P E: P S: 1D W: 2C

N: X E: P S: 2H W: P

N: 3H E:P S: 4H All Pass

Board 14. Well, North is presented with a curious problem at his first bid – what call does he make with his 17 count and 5 spades? Probably – pass – as 1No trump is right on count and wrong on shape; plus the odds seem good to get a plus score. N-S can collect 3 spades, and use the club suit to tap East – so it could get ugly – and e-w might collect the spade k and 2 club ruffs plus the King of diamonds and the A-Q of hearts so down 1. E: 1S S: P W: P N:?

Board 15. I don’t see a lot of opportunity for mischief in this hand so I would expect the board to be fairly flat.

S: 1H W:P N:1S E:P

S: 2H W:P N:P E:P

Board 16.

W:P N:1N E:P S:2H*

W:X**N:2S*** E:P S:4S All pass;

Opening lead should be the King of hearts; the fall of the 9 of spades when N plays the spade Ace may let South finesse the 8 – to pick up the 11th trick (the two losing clubs can go on the heart Q and diamond J). Curiously, E-W can set a problem for N-S by shifting from hearts to a high club at trick two. Then N has to fly the Ace of clubs (lest he lose two hearts and a club). Now N-S collects 5 spades, the Ace of clubs and four diamonds – The trick – after picking up the spade suit, clearing trump, south pitches his losing heart on the Jack of diamonds – and then knocks out the king of clubs scoring the last two tricks with a heart ruff and the club ten. Bidding notes:

* Transfer to spades

** Lead hearts

*** I have three spades – do you have this agreement?

Board 17. This is a tough hand, E-W have game going values – and no makable game. When South overcalls 1S – E-W should avoid 3N and stop at 4 of a minor – the poorly fitting red suits doom the game chances (plus the diamond king is off-side).

N: P E: 1H S: 1S W: 2D

N: P E: 3C S: P W: 3D*

*Some West players might bid 3Spades asking for a partial spade stopper, and planning to correct 4 clubs to 4 diamonds.

Board 18. I am not sure how this hand plays out – it could be mundane, 2h n-s, or 3c e-w or there could be a big swing with a low level penalty double which will not fair well.

E: 1D S: P W: P N: 2D*

E: P S: 2H W: P N: P

W: X S: P W: 3C** All Pass

*A michaels cue bid promising 5-5 in the majors

** Although the X might be construed as penalty – West’s hand might be useless unless clubs are trump.

Board 19. Will N-S find their way to 3 No trump or stop short?

S: P W: P N: 1C E: 1S

S: X* W: P N: 1N E: P

S: 2N W: P N: 3N all pass

Bidding notes:

*The double shows hearts. The initial pass followed by the 2N invitation – should promise 11 or a really ugly 12 – and so North can accept – though, at match points likely not criticized too badly for passing with a 13 count and no five card suit.

Board 20. Some E-W may end up in game down one. The East player may upgrade their hand with the three working cards (QH, QJD) but the bad heart break dooms the contract. It looks like the game contract will be defeated with 2 clubs and 2 diamond ruffs, or one diamond ruff and a natural trump trick.

W: 1H N: P E: 1S S: P

W: 2D N: P E: 2H S: P

W: 3H All Pass