Monday, 9 January 2012

Hands From Ireland-Scotland Camrose Match

The following are some hands from Sunday's Camrose match between Ireland and England: Analysis from the Scotland-England match is available here.

Robson Gaffe:

Just to show that even the best can make the easiest of mistakes. South ducks the spade lead and wins the second round. For his vulnerable 2♠ opening with ♠Q96543, West must have the A. Therefore you would think that there is very little to the play. Robson must have seen something else. After one round of clubs he cashed the AQ - blocking the suit! After this there was no recourse.

Biddable Game:

Here we have what seems like a reasonable vulnerable 4 contract that was not bid in either room. I think West's 3♣ bid was probably looking for 3NT and caused North to place the K♣ in the East hand. What interests me is if South had Qxx♣, he might use the same logic to push on to 4.

Balancing I:

West has a tough call in the passout seat. If double followed by 2 would show extra values then you cannot double. If you are not going to double there is probably little value in bidding 2♣. I think East should have bid over 1♠. His values in spades are transferable (as opposed to ♠QJT9x) and the vulnerability favours bidding game for your side.

Balancing II:

A second balancing hand that cost the Irish 7 imps. I am not sure what variation of Transfer Walsh that N/S play but it is very likely that they have an 8-card fit. It seems standard to double on the West hand. I cannot ever remember coming to great harm in this situation before.

Underbid With Void:

Here we have an example of when not to balance because N/S have underbid. By most standards the North hand is worth a limit raise. Playing four-card majors and a strong no-trump hurt them here as North was fearful of the 8-loser weak no-trump hand and probably hoped there would be a balancing call when South has five spades. I have a lot of sympathy with this bidding as 5440 hands are often easily held on trump leads.

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