Sunday, May 13, 2007

Kranyak Jump Reverse

I'm not sure who is responsible for the idea, but an interesting idea that I learned from Laurie and Ken Kranyak, of Bay Village (Cleveland suburb), Ohio, was helpful in reaching a slam that the opponents missed in Gatlinburg, and it got us into the right slam.

The idea is related to the "Walsh Fragment" jump rebid, where, for example, a 1C opener jumps to 4C after a major response to show a solid club suit, four-card major support, and game values.

The Kranyak Jump Reverse could be seen as a flawed Walsh Fragment bid, artificially showing a long minor (6-card, but not necessarily solid) and a fragment (3-card) support for partner's major. In other words, both the fit and the minor may be "flawed" from a Walsh Fragment perspective.

The jump reverse shows this hand. So, for instance, after 1C-P-1H-P-?, Opener could jump to 3D, a jump reverse, as an artificial bid to show three-card hearts, six clubs, and obviously values to justify forcing the three-level in the possible major Moysian, 3NT, or four of his minor. It is still a big bid, but flawed as not a pure Walsh Fragment bid.

The Gatlinburg hand was a classic hand. After 1D-P-1S-P-?, I jumped to 3H with KJx-Kx-AKxxxx-Qx. Partner held Axxxx-Axx-QJxxx-void. It seems like the slam should still be bid by anyone, but you can also see how easy it was for partner after I jumped to 3H, which we defined as showing what I held.

The Kranyak Jump Reverse can be used in two simple auctions: 1C-P-1H-P-3D and 1D-P-1S-P-3H. The third auction is 1C-P-1S-P-3D or 1C-P-1S-P-3H. These two options for the third auction suggests that there should be a difference between bidding 3D and bidding 3H. Perhaps you agree to bid the shortness, if you have shortness. Perhaps you make your cheapest cuebid (bid 3D if you have the Ace, King, stiff, or void in diamonds; bid 3H if not -- surely you have one control). Perhaps one jump reverse is weaker and the other stronger. Whatever (my preference would be for a cue).

The call is relatively rare, but it does come up if you play enough. If you are actually reading a bridge blog on cuebidding, you probably play enough, or at least think theory enough, for this to be useful. LOL I have noticed that the Kranyak Jump Reverse has "answered" a few forum problem hands. So, consider adding this to your arsenal.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Not Every Hand is a Slam Hand

My opponents got into a heated argument last night about the defense of my 5S contract. The best defense is a diamond lead, trumped by Opener, a club back, and a second diamond ruff, for down one. But, how clear is this defense?

The auction had been 1H-1S-2H-4S-5H-5S-P-P-P.

Opener had a void in diamonds. When he started to berate his partner for not using his extra-sensory perception to find the diamond lead, I noted that he had missed the golden opportunity to cuebid 5D as a lead-director, which would have resulted in no doubt as to the opening lead. The response was the 5D is not a possible bid, as this would be a slam try, with a real diamond suit.

There must be a point where practicalities rule. This auction seems to scream for such an approach. The key factors screaming for 5D as a lead-director are (1) Responder will be on lead, (2) Responder has shown relative weakness, such that slam is remote, and (3) Opener had the option of a forcing pass as an alternative for slam purposes.

A good partnership should agree on when cuebids are for slam purposes and when cuebids are for lead purposes. This seems to work better than ESP, in my opinion.