This blog provides supplementary thoughts and ideas to the site. If you haven't seen the main site, there is a lot there including the Martel and Rodwell interviews, photos, and articles. This blog is focused on advancing bridge theory by discussing the application of new ideas. All original content is copyright 2009 Glen Ashton.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Freeze Redouble

Meckwell were dominant at the Boston NABC: Meckwell won three major events (Reisinger BAM Teams, Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs, and Mitchell Open BAM Teams), Rodwell was 2nd in the Nail Life Master Open Pairs (playing with John Diamond), while Meckstroth was 14th in the same event (playing with Perry Johnson). Rodwell himself earned more masterpoints (623.75) than the combined results of the six Italian World Champions (136.38+110.65+100.65+83.88+83.88+84.58). Results and masterpoint lists at:

Meckwell is seen here in action during the Reisinger final - actually it's inaction for Rodwell:






I believe the board was against Zmudzinski and Balicki, but I've listed them as Opp1 and Opp2 in the diagram as the vugraph record is incomplete (and the ACBL has no detailed results for session two posted on their site).

Let's look at the board first from Rodwell's seat. He passes in third seat, even though their style allows light initial action, and partner will not have a hand that would want to invite in notrump - North would have opened almost every 11+ hand, so at best he has a 10 count - thus Rodwell could open 1D, and if Meckstroth bid 1S, he could rebid 1NT (showing up to 14, since 1NT 3rd seat red against white would be 15-17), knowing Meckstroth would not bid 2NT now.

After he passes, Rodwell sees partner make a passed hand double of the 1H opening - partner likely has a shapely 8-10 hand. Rodwell has to pick between 1NT and 2D. However RHO redoubles - now Rodwell can pass and await developments - there are many ways the auction can bid out, giving Meckwell plenty of opportunity to find the 5-3 club fit. Note the style: don't rush to get a bid in if you don't know if that's the best spot for you and the bidding is not over yet.

Now EW park themselves in 2H and Rodwell would like to compete over this if Meckstroth had 5Ds or the right hand with 4Ds - however the redouble has froze him into allowing the opponents to play two-of-a-major, which can be terrible at Board-a-Match, with +110 beating +100 (3 something down 1, not doubled) and if 2H is down, -50 or -100 (down 2) then that would win the board against anything that makes NS.

From the East perspective, he wants to show some values, and if possible land in 2H if partner doesn't have much extras. In most expert styles he would have available, over Meckstroth's double, a bid that would show a good raise to 2H. However if he made this bid, it might spur the opponents to compete, taking them out of the nice 2H spot, and it could be awkward for EW to know when to double NS, especially if NS are able to compete in spades - for example say it went P-P-P-1H;-X-2D-2S-P;-P-?, where 2D by East shows a good raise to 2H. Now does East double 2S, or let them play there, or bid again?

Thus East uses the freeze redouble - show values, say to partner we own this hand, and freeze NS from wanting to compete.

After the Redouble, West does not sit for it to give NS the bids to find out their best fit - instead, with a hand that is relatively poor defensively for the point count (no aces, kings in diamonds and spades may find an ace over them) he shows his second suit. This then got EW to a comfortable 2H contract, just making at this table. In the other room, Hamman and Zia used a Flannery 2D opening (11-15 with 5Hs & 4Ss) to get to 2H, and then made two overtricks on a less-than-optimal defense, but you need your opponents to be doing some less-than-optimal things if you want to return from a NABC with 623.75 masterpoints.


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