Unit 149 (WUMBA) - District 13
Interesting Hands: How high with 8-card suits?

Suppose that you are West and have stiff Kings in the majors, QJx in diamonds, and eight clubs A9876432. Your RHO opens 1H. You are VUL vs NOT VUL in a KO event. Now what?

Do you pass, bid 2C, or make some kind of preempt in clubs?
Argument for pass: If partner likes clubs, you cannot win the bidding unless partner has a great hand.
Argument for preempt: Opponents might do the wrong thing, or might even let you have it.
Argument for 2C: Lets partner in on the decision.
And there are other arguments for/against each of the above, perhaps depending upon your style.

Anyway, you overcall 2C, it goes Pass, Pass, and opener reopens with 2D. Now what? Do you pass or take a chance with 3C?

Is Eight Enough? Subject: A long club suit
Event: Bracket 1 KO Finals; December 11, 1999; Madison, Wisconsin Sectional
Board: 19
Dealer: South
Vul: East-West
S A x x
H J 10 x
D x x x
C K Q J 10
North has heart support BUT,
is waiting for developments
D Q J x
C A 9 8 7 6 4 3 2
  S Q x x x x x
H 8 x x x
D x x x
C void
  S J x x
H A Q 9 x x
D A K x x
C 5
Now the auction as it actually happened

1 H
2 C P P 2 D
3 C X 3 S X

What happened? Ace of diamonds lead, spade to Ace, heart to Ace, Q of hearts, Jack of hearts, diamond to King, cash 9 of hearts (North pitches a diamond), diamond ruff, and one more trick for J of spades. N/S take the first 9 tricks for +1400. N/S think they have won BIG on this board, but NOT TRUE! EW (teammates) preempt 4C over 1H, and go for 1100. NS (here) win the board, but it COULD have gone the other way!

So, some questions for you and your partner

Is the West hand worth a bid? I think so, but.... A PASS is almost your LAST chance to go plus.

Should South reopen with a double, pass, or bid? This perhaps is one of the most critical decisions. What would partner expect of you if you doubled? What would partner expect you to have for a 2D or 2H rebid? At matchpoints, South likely would have doubled, but ... A reopening X here results in +500 for N/S, which loses the board when teammates preempt with this hand. But, the loss would be even larger if West does not take another call over the 2D reopening. This hand is at the extremes of the guessing game, I guess.

Can West take another call? Obviously it did not work here, but the club length and 2 Kings should make it harder for opponents to double you. West was unlucky here in that North had a solid penalty double.

Should East rescue? Here it does not work. Being in 3C doubled for -800 is last chance for a win for the board. What must you have to rescue? Or should your agreement be that rescues are not allowed? (my preference)

Anyway, this hand illustrates some of the risks and issues that come up when a one-level major opening is overcalled at the two-level, and the next 2 players pass. What happens now? Partnerships should have some agreements about what to expect if opener reopens with a X, bids a new suit, or rebids the major, and openers should have some expectations about what responder has if responder makes a penalty pass after a reopening double.

This hand had chances of either team picking up 12 imps (perhaps even 14?), 7 imps, or a tie.