Saturday, November 05, 2005 8:00 PM

Hand Evaluation  - Biting the Bullet




            Watched the final sessions of the Bermuda Bowl with Italy vrs USA . Two D.S.I.P. hands came up on which I would like to comment . Actually , there were many many D.S.I.P. situations that came up . The Italians do not play strict D.S.I.P. theory like we are proposing,  but what they play is very close. ♠AQJx void Q10xx ♣AJ10xx was opened 1♣ , Meckstroth overcalled 1 . Nunes passed & Rodwell bid 4 doubled by the opener with both sides nv.  Nunes held ♠xxx xxx Jxxx ♣xxx so what do you bid ? No delay at the Vugraph so I knew he quickly passed. 4X making was the result so the Italians lost 4 IMPS. Not a disaster at all but if he refused to bite the bullet by bidding something it would have been a disaster.


            “Biting the bullet “ comes up quite often in the game of Bridge where partner inadvertently puts your side in trouble. This usually happens with a double by partner with  you being vulnerable & they are not. Some examples are leaving in a double of 1NT for –180 or so rather than you bidding vul with a horrific hand so possibly go for –800. Partner makes a balancing double of a weak 2 opener , you hold ♠xx J109xx xxx ♣xxx with you being vul & they are not . Passing for penalty might work out to be the best bid as –470 might be your best score ! 1-P-4-Dbl    , you are vul vrs not with ♠xxxx xxx Qxx ♣Qxx do you bid 4 vul vrs not ? . I do not , as we are going for a minus anyway vul vrs nv. I would rather gamble it out that 4X may go down. If not –590 vrs –200 to –800 is a trade off anyway. In fact , with my partners if I do bid a vul game vrs non vul opponents , I feel there is a reasonable shot of making it. This action turns on forcing passes on this one vulnerability only.


            Same Italians , he opened 1♣ again nv vrs vul this time. He held ♠A10x void AQJx ♣Qxxxxx , Rodwell overcalled 1 with a negative double by Versace. The opener bid 2 , Rodwell bid 3 which was raised to 4 by Meckstroth. Nunes decided to sacrifice nv vul vrs vul so he bid 5♣ which was doubled & down –500. Trouble was this is was pseudo as Versace held ♠Kxx A10xx 1098x ♣xx . In D.S.I.P. theory , the 1st double after a passing partner under the 5 level is a request to bid something. Versace would say thanks but no thanks so pickup a 700 swing . Single handed sacrifices are just that . Single handed !


            Q10987xx J1098x x ♣void with everybody vul. Do you open 3 or make the disciplined pass ? Soloway opened 3♠ and the Italians passed at the other table. This got raised to game in spades which has no play. The Italians at the other table took a single handed pseudo sacrifice to 5X for –500. Partner of the 3 pre-empter held ♠A Axxx Kx ♣Axxxxx . The 5 bidder held ♠x KQ AQJ109xx ♣xxx . At the table I was watching , Versace passed , Nunes opened 1♣ so Rodwell “preempted” 3♦ . The Italians found their heart fit which make +680 but this time no sacrifice as Meckstroth had a spade stack so though 4 might not make.


            Anyway is what quite evident that bidding or passing at high levels is still a crap shoot at the World Championship level. D.S.I.P. theory is an attempt to make these decisions less single handed. It seemed that every time somebody made a single handed sacrifice trying to be a hero , it did not work. Same problem in all these auctions was that partner was not consulted or asked to be a part of the decision.


            The reasons why the Italians won the Bermuda Bowl is that they played better. Pretty profound observation.