Neil Kimelman

Bridge in Philadelphia II

Yesterday I gave this problem from the Rosenblum:

None vulnerable, playing Matchpoints, you hold as North:  A108762 AQ K7 A87. What do you bid on this auction?

 West       North     East      South

                   –                        Pass          

Pass           1♠         Dble        2♠1

Pass            ?



I am an agressive bidder but do no think much of our chances for game on this hand. It is a 7 loser hand, with the high cards mostly behind me. I don’t expect partner to cover four of my losers. I am not vulnerable. The only plus is that the double has given me information as to how to play the hand.

Despite this I make a help suit game try of 3, which partner rejects by going back to 3 . although 3NT is a  decent practical bid, I decide to pass. The full deal:



























 As you can see 3NT and 4  make if you guess the spade Q, with hearts 3-3 with the K  onside, and the spade 4  as a late entry to enjoy the hearts.


I found that a reocurring theme in both the Rosenblum and the five sessions of the Pairs final was that many contracts were makeable with an unlikely like of the cards. Pairs who stayed out of game on this hand were rewarded wih a 6 IMPs loss in a number of matches.


Ray LeeOctober 29th, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Yes, but you win Moral IMPs, Neil, by staying out of the bad game which just happens to make. You have to be content with that. 🙂

Bobby WolffNovember 1st, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Hi Neil,

The real question to be answered might be: “Is your glass half full or half empty?”

While no one could possibly guarantee whether game could or will be made while holding this hand and before seeing what partner can add, it is usually wise to consider the “X” factor. That X factor often centers around the opponent’s opening lead and the specific (usually distribution) of your partner’s hand. On the hand from Philadelphia your partner, not only had as little as can be expected, but his club diamond distribution was disastrous. Still the opening leader might be leading a heart, possibly even away from the king (since his other suits might not have offered any safety).

That X factor is an important reason why bridge is thought to be “A bidder’s game” since quite often, or so it seems, contracts come home, like someone once said, “People are dying now who have never died before”.

None of us should ever try to mastermind, since the game of bridge, not us, is in control. Perhaps the best strategy is to bid ’em high and sleep in the streets.

Ray offered polite and heartfelt thoughts, but somehow, being a competitor demands sometimes and often going for the throat instead of remaining conservative.

Good luck!

Neil KimelmanNovember 1st, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Thanks for your thoughts on this hand.


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