Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Taking a break

At the moment I'm too busy with all sorts of stuff to post on a regular basis. I've decided to take a break. Depending on work I might return soon, in a few months, or even stop forever.



Saturday, November 17, 2007

Toying with voidwood

Yesterday I had following hand:

Playing a natural system (pretty basic actually), partner opened 1 in 1st seat, Vulnerable. What's your plan?

I thought of several possibilities:
2 = natural, forcing for 1 round
2NT = GF with fit
4 = splinter
5 = voidwood

Normally I prefer to bid 2, but with this partner I wasn't sure I could set up a GF at 3-level if he rebids 2. After 2NT we play pretty standard responses, so with a minimum hand he'll rebid 4 which we don't want! I thought my hand was too strong for a splinter, so voidwood was the only thing left. However, if partner doesn't have a control in we may already be too high... Nothing was really satisfying. Then I thought a little further, and found a response that was imo better than all the rest. Can you find it?

I bid 5 Diamonds, voidwood. This solves the problem in (who will lead this suit now?) and lets us play 6 pretty comfortable. The auction continued as follows:
1 - pass - 5! - 6
pass! - pass - 7 - pass
pass - pass

Partner's pass should show 1 keycard (not counting A), so I made a gamble and bid the grand slam.

Partner's hand was:

The slam is laydown, but the trumps were 4-0! After a lead you'll have to count on a 3-3 split so you can play some kind of dummy reversal ruffing some s. Otherwise you can only make 12 tricks...

While I was dummy, I was thinking about these Zia voidwoods (I've seen him do this several times as well, voidwood with another void). Actually they work amaizingly well, although this hand doesn't illustrate this completely. For example, partner has A: without it, the killing lead would've been avoided. He also has Q, a lucky card. Playing 6 (this was my initial plan) while partner had xxx obviously would've been a better example, but I don't like to change the hands.
Nevertheless the Zia voidwood works in the sense that opponents don't know there's a suit wide open, and the hand should practically be over once they've lead the wrong suit. I think it's less useful if you have a control of your own.