Sunday, August 2, 2009
More Beauty : Privilege of transfers
East's takeout double may not be a thing of beauty but he does not really have the textbook hand for a 2D overcall either.
At first glance, Bocchi's 3S bid seems a bit too keen. Partner passed over 1S doubled, there doesn't seem to be much upside in competing.
However, such hands show the hidden costs of the fashion of transfers.
Playing transfers over the takeout double, South has to pass with hands that would normally constitute a 1NT bid. In fact, the Italians pass with upto 9-10 HCP in similar situations. Their style is for the opener, even when minimum, to compete aggressively with shape to compensate.
Having already shown invitational-plus hand by bidding 2S, West can complete the message of balanced-game-force by doubling 3S. It is not a penalty double, just a better statement of the nature of his hand than the 4H call chosen. East, with three unexpected trumps (opposite a balanced game-force) and a singleton has an easy pass.
That is how a sophisticated partnership could have made N/S pay for the privelege of transfers. Yet I suspect their post-mortem would focus solely on the beauty of the takeout double of 1S and not the action that really caused the swing.
Previous post : I lied about the auction in the other room. North played 3NT on the same lead. When North crossed to a club, West had to play his lowest club. My guess is that East took that to be a (non) Smith signal and decided partner did not have the spade queen. He switched to a heart, which seems like an error anyways and that is what really caused the swing.