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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Grant and Debs reliving this board and others. 

Just good friends…on the same wavelength…Just!

Indeed, Debs Smith and Grant Jarvis are just that…and occasionally, they get to play bridge together like last weekend at the Hawke’s Bay Congress. Debs’ hubbie, Scott Smith, had  some sessions with Grant as well but come early Monday morning it was Debs who was partnering Grant.

The auction on one board started very early in the morning and ended a considerable time later. It is a board where Grant was dealt a fistful of black cards, great if they were spades but this time, most of them were clubs!

We will look in at the bidding part way through the auction and you can decide on your next bid with Grant’s hand. Debs seemed to be sticking to the red suits.

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East Deals
Both Vul

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

A J 10 5

10 3

A K Q 10 9 8 5

 

West

North

East

South

Debs

 

Grant

 

 

 

1 ♣

Pass

1 

Pass

1 ♠

Pass

2 

Pass

3 ♣

Pass

3 

Pass

4 ♣

Pass

4 

Pass

?

 

 

Your 1Club-small could be quite short but the length of that suit was getting longer by each bid! Debs’ 2Diamond-small was 4th suit, game-forcing, maybe unnatural. She carried on by showing long hearts (3Heart-small) and maybe even longer hearts with 4Heart-small. In the words of a song, “that does not impress me much!” What would you bid after 4Heart-small? Have you had enough or would you bid some more?

Grant was in a “black” mood and did not really want to put down his hand as dummy just yet. He tried 4Spade-small either as an offer to play, possibly a moysian fit, or as first round control if Debs was really insistent on playing in hearts.

The auction then continued “with difficulty”. Debs bid 5Diamond-small, presumably as a cue-bid (agreeing what?!) and Grant tried to end the auction in 6Club-small (or a second round cue-bid if Debs was insistent to play in hearts). Debs did have the final say with 6Heart-small and Grant prepared to leave a big gap where the trump suit was supposed to be.

East Deals
Both Vul

K 9 8 2

J 10 5

J 6

J 7 6 2

Q 6

A K Q 8 6 4 3

A 9 4 2

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

A J 10 5

10 3

A K Q 10 9 8 5

 

7 4 3

9 7 2

K Q 8 7 5

4 3

 

West

North

East

South

Debs

 

Grant

 

 

 

1 ♣

Pass

1 

Pass

1 ♠

Pass

2 

Pass

3 ♣

Pass

3 

Pass

4 ♣

Pass

4 

Pass

4 ♠

Pass

5 

Pass

6 ♣

Pass

6 

All pass

 

 

North led Diamond-smallJ and Debs needed some good news. It came in the form of a favourable trump break. She could cross to dummy with a spade (no finesse, of course!) and discarded three diamonds on the high clubs before conceding a spade to make her slam. The play was far quicker than the bidding!

6Club-small on Diamond-smallK lead is a reasonable spot. One diamond discard on Heart-smallA and then a spade discard on Heart-smallK would be followed by a spade finesse. Declarer needs either the spade finesse to work or else avoid a club loser. Good news here, too.

6NT on a diamond lead will succeed if either long suit breaks favourably. Perhaps 6Club-small is the best of the three as it is not your day when you have a spade and a trump loser.

Perfect tempo

Now, I can report that all bids above were made in perfect tempo (yes, even North-South’s passes!). Yet, it is the kind of auction one can imagine a testy husband and wife having, each trying to insist on having their suit as trumps. Grant and Debs’  auction was recorded for posterity. Bidding cards look so much better than bids on a pad!

all "red" and all "black" (and blue!)

husband wife bidding picture 24 debs  grant.jpg

(yes, the 4Spade-small bid was inadvertently substituted by 5Spade-small…for the photo only!)

Blue..or black…is the male colour. Red is a very lady-like colour! As it should be, “red” came out on top!

The board was played 6 times with 4 pairs reaching 6Heart-small. One pair played in 4Heart-small and the other saw “the blacks” prevail in 5Club-small.

A tough deal to bid. Should 4Club-small be a cue-bid or continuation of opener’s suit? There is a good case for the former.

A bidding argument? Certainly not…just a difficult exchange of information.

Richard Solomon  

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