Paul Cronin

A “rare” bidding question.

The auction goes


West North East South
  P 3S ?

and you hold    —     Axx      AQxx      AKQxxx.        What now???


Paul thurstonJuly 30th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

6d seems so automatic as to not be worthy of discussion – except by A Recorder, Director or other quasi-judicial person!

bobby wolffJuly 31st, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Hi Paul,

If I was only allowed one bid, yes it would be 6 clubs (my AKQxxx). However, since the rules are not yet that restrictive, I would double first and then set my cap for 6 clubs, but be alert to all the many other eventual possibilities.

This hand illustrates to me why Edgar Kaplan’s suggestion of when partner’s double is meant for takeout, then, if at all possible, take it out.

Obviously bridge bidding success is determined not by one or even 50 hands, but rather thousands of them. This law of average is what our game is about and the players who have the best record of using superior judgment eventually reign supreme.

Summing up, if I did venture the unilateral 6 clubs choice, and it is the type bid that in my younger professional days, while playing with a weak client, I would tend to offer, I can now say that I still would, but if playing top-flight bridge was my goal, I would merely start out with a double and postpone a final decision to
the zero hour when and if it arrives.

There is also a possibility, because of references to the bridge police, that I have missed part of another discussion where hanky-panky might be rearing its ugly head and not just a careless mistake of mixing up the minor suit holdings. If that is true, I apologize for my density.

ross taylorJuly 31st, 2010 at 4:43 pm

This hand must be an inside joke or something given Mr. Thurston’s comments above. I would double with this hand – I never ever had success jumping to slam unilaterally with broken flawed hands like this – though I have seen others do so.

I could ask the colours, the form of scoring etc., but I think in all cases I double anyway.

Paul CroninAugust 2nd, 2010 at 11:12 am

The hand was held by Howard Piltch in the round of 64 in this year’s Spingold. His call was 6D, which happens to make as the losing hearts can be pitched on the long clubs, while 6C fails.

Paul CroninAugust 4th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

It would seem that no slam has any chance unless partner holds a red king. Is there any auction that will help to determine that?

Theresa HowardAugust 5th, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Hi Paul,
Would be good to share the sequence we discussed – after consultation – as it makes sense.

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