Spectrum

Hi all

Seinfeld in the Paramount Theatre was awesome. I enjoyed his observation what guys expect from their woman is the same as what they expect from their underwear: a little bit of freedom and a little bit of support.

Here’s a deal from a recent teams match. I’ve asked around a bit, and most of the reactions so far range from “Daisy picking” to “What’s the problem, yawn” all the way to “That’s why I play Heeman“.

All white and partner opens an 11-14 NT.

South
3
AKQ5
976
JT853

I passed as responder and I see Geoff wrap up eleven tricks! As the cards lie you just had to snap your fingers for a butler to hand over your twelve tricks in on a silver platter:

North Dealer
– Vul
North
A965
9874
K4
AQ6
West
KJ74
J62
AJ2
K74
East
QT82
T3
QT853
92
South
3
AKQ5
976
JT853

Trumps breaking, King and Ace on side, and trump length with length so you don’t run into communication problems. Of course bidding slam is 4th dimensionally outrageous, and only fit for certain characters from books by Victor Mollo.

But still, there’s this nagging feeling whether we should have reached the game. The question ultimately boils down to whether it is imp positive to undertake action. Balancing reasonable 4 contracts against featherlight NT contracts, and if the opponents are about to bid we’re better off bidding 2 now. The answer? I still don’t know.

How valid is the approach actually, that if you can make game opposite a perfect minimum, you need to invite? And doesn’t that bite with Mike Lawrence’s advise to never play partner for the perfect hand?

2 thoughts on “Spectrum

  1. As one who has a couple of weak notrump (12-14) partnerships, I find the opposite of what you describe much more frequent. That is, too often responder recognizes that opposite a weak notrump with a good fit, game is possible and so tries for game and then finds that partnership ends too high. Recognizing that opposite a weak notrump opening responder’s search for a major suit fit begins one level higher than opposite a one minor opening, I think it pays to be conservative. Sometimes you just have to pay off when a hand does not fit your system best.

    I do make this concession (available because we use 2 as invitational Stayman and 2 as gf Stayman): when responder has a five card major suit and a seven loser hand, we use invitational Stayman to look for the major suit fit. If no fit is disclosed, opener becomes quite conservative about advancing to 3NT, for fear that responder has tried for game only because of his interest in finding a major suit fit, rather than because he has invitational overall HCP strength.

  2. I think that if you can make *slam* opposite a perfect minimum, you need to invite game :-). Here Stayman has the additional advantage of maybe getting you to a superior strain (hearts or clubs), although you may end up too high if partner responds 2.

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