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TALES OF AKARANA by Mark Hangartner

                              A Question of Judgement.

Two newer players to Akarana, Kinga Hajmasi and Andrew Michl, showed their mettle by bidding the following 24 point slam.    6Club-small would score top marks in a Bidding Challenge but Andrew and Kinga did well to bid and make the small spade slam.


Board 24
West Deals
None Vul
7 2
3 2
A K Q 10 9 5 4
A 10
A K 10 8 4
K J 10 9
K 9 7 3
W   E
Q 6 3
A 6 5
J 8
Q J 8 6 5
J 9 5
Q 8 7 4
7 6 3 2
4 2


West will certainly open 1♠. The North player at most tables will make a simple overcall of 2♦. If that is the case East has a choice of calls. Some may like to show all round values with a double. Others might bid 3♣ as a natural forcing bid, but most will have a mechanism to show an invitational raise probably with a 3♦ or possibly a 3♠ bid.  I expect that was the most common option.

Is 3♣ a bit pushy here? Certainly you have neither the shape nor points to commit to game, but in a case like this with a good double fit it should lead to bidding the best slam of 6♣.

At most clubs South would keep silent, but this being Akarana at my table he ventured 4♦. Now West with a void has every reason to take a rosy view and should make a cuebid at least, possibly exclusion Blackwood if you have that option either after the spade raise or natural club bid.

In practice most E/W pairs settled for penalising a diamond contract by N/S at the 4, 5 or 6 level most often doubled.

Kinga Hajamsi and Andrew Michl were alone in bidding 6♠ and were perhaps unlucky to score a mere 5 imps as their teammates were doubled in 6♦.

Mark Hangartner

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