Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shanghai Deal #14

Another deal for system, of course. One team reached the slam; one team missed it. The issue was that Responder had to make a call -- conservative or aggressive. It would be nice to have a means to invite.

Opener: A10xx-AK10x-AJ-AJ10
Responder: K98x-x-xx-K98xxx

Opener has a hand that on its face looks like 21 HCP's. Personally, I think that the control count and two well-placed 10's merits a clear upgrade. However, in either event, that is not critical to the auction. Either open 2NT if you do not upgrade, or open 2C and rebid 2NT (after, for me, a GF 2D waiting response).

Both Responders now bid 3C, apparently Puppet Stayman. The USA I response of 4C is one I have never seen, so I am not sure what that meant. The 3S Norway response was typical, and it left no real apparent invite -- go or fade.

I like a version of Puppet Stayman that I learned from Jim Batchelder, of Columbus, Ohio. It is designed to find all major fits, including all 5-3 or 3-5 fits, always with Opener declaring, and sometimes with enhanced ability to show super-acceptances.

3C asks Opener about the majors. If Opener has 4-4, he bids 3NT. With five spades, 3S. With 4-5 hearts (and not 4 spades), 3H; this allows Responder to bid 3S to ask if the hearts were 4 (3NT) or 5 (above 3NT, super-acceptances enabled). With 2-3 hearts and 2-4 spades, Opener bids 3D; this allows 3S to ask about hearts (3NT=2, above=3 with super-acceptances enabled); it also allows 3H to ask about spades (3S=3, 3NT=2, higher=4 with super-acceptances enabled).

Opener will bid 3NT to show 4-4. To retain Opener as declarer, South African Transfers are used (4C=H, 4D=S). This is also a "flags" approach. Note that bidding two under allows Opener to bid the intermediate call to super-accept. Sure, that wrong-sides the contract, so the super-acceptance is reserved for very good super-acceptance situations.

In practice, then, Opener rebids 3NT, Responder flags spades (4D), and Opener has a clear super-acceptance situation (4H) if he had opened the weaker 2NT direct. He might even decide to super-accept after the 2C start, but that may have done the trick.

No guessing, no gambling. Straight-forward.


Glen Ashton said...

Responder's long suit was clubs so flip diamonds and clubs if clubs are shown as shorter.

Kenneth Rexford, Esq. said...

Thanks! Fixed it.