Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lead directing psych

Yesterday I was playing with some friends and at one point I got the following hand:
We're NV vs V, RHO opens in 1st seat with 2NT (20-21). What do you bid and why?

I thought opponents might have 4 or a slam in , so why not mess up their auction. If they bid to 4, the contract will be wrongsided and partner can immediately give me a ruff. Perhaps I can even reach his hand for another ruff for -1. So I bid 4 which turned out to be a success. If opponents don't double (unlikely) I'll be happy to go -9, otherwise I can safely return to 4H. It's always exciting to bid natural with a void, especially if you expect partner to have lots of support and he should have the discipline not to raise...

The entire auction went:
2NT - 4! - Dbl - pass
pass - 4 - Dbl - pass
pass - pass

Now the psych has been exposed, but opponents can't make things right. South did a great job not to bid 4 at any time, and take his money on 4x down as much as possible.

The full hand:


As you can see, when is played by South a lead will defeat the contract if I can manage to play low when declarer plays (I should be able to find that, but we'll never know for sure). 4 by North is laydown. 4x-2 cost us 300, which is way better than 4=. Some however got to 6 or 6, I've even seen a 6NT!


Mike said...

You say the opponents can't recover? And that 4S by north is laydown (true). I think the solution is thus spelt out - if you can bid on no cards then I can bid on 2.

And why might I?

The answer to that is first of all given the twice doubling south hand we obviously have the values for game - the question is which one? I suppose given the double heart stop it is tempting to go for 4NT but then you will go 1 off but 4S is tempting because the question this psych begs is "what are you afraid of???" But with half (more than half) my partners they just wouldn't be able to resist that 1 little cue-bid despite the fact that you obviously don't have enough for slam & now you're screwed. This is why I love psyching - people just can't handle it. Whereas it really is all about odd-even bluff levels a lot of the time, for example.

Someone posted this hand on Facebook:


Suppose you open 1D and the next hand pre-empts in S. If LHO is a bad player then they won't use any grey matter open the opening lead so I turn my attention to partner: if I trust them to speculate at the right time then I will bid 6C and expect them to raise if they hold that unlikely ace of spades. If I have no faith in them to do this then I may exclusion in hearts depending what 6C means over 5S.

But of course the real beauty that I'd love to inflict upon a quality LHO is sod it - 7 clubs. Are you leading a spade or a heart? - because I can't think of many good players here who facing a situation like this where an aggressive lead is required who would think I'd have the nerve to bid the grand slam with an immediate spade loser. Or perhaps you believe I have no quick losers & some hearts & want to save (at some colours). Whatever, 7 clubs with poker face should cause a real headache and is a kind of psych I've yet to inflict - it's on the list!

Mike said...

You don't have to fear the raise in diamonds, surely, given the next hand *is* going to make a penalty double.