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Daily Bridge in New Zealand


Ten and a half Seconds Needed!

They have removed the “Stop Card” and you still are not sure what to bid! Know the feeling?

“A very difficult problem” one of our Panel comments about the hand for today. I and indeed some of the Panel are not that sure they have the right answer, even though they nearly all voted the same way. Their bid was not the one chosen at the table, either. So, let’s take a look:

East Deals
E-W Vul

   

6

A K Q 8 3 2

A 8 2

Q J 5

 

N

W

 

E

S

   

 

West

North

East

South

 

 

1 ♣

3 ♠

?

 

 

 

 

1Club-small is 3+ clubs and if balanced your partner has either 12-14 or 18-19 hcp. You are playing Teams. What now?

Kris Wooles “4Heart-small: if partner has Spade-smallA and Club-smallAKxxxx, we could be cold for 7Club-small and if Heart-smallJ as well make that 7NT. However, with a more likely weak NT opposite, even 4Heart-small could be enough. It’s a guess which makes pre-empts so effective. At least partner knows I have a good hand to bid at the 4 level and with even a small doubleton and with good pointed values outside can still make a move which is hopefully not fatal.”

A good hand certainly but this good? That singleton spade looks like gold-dust. The majority keep their options open though their action worries me a little:

Peter Newell “Double: as it is not clear whether we belong in hearts or clubs or even NT. Best to start with an action that is flexible, keeps the bidding low and helps us get more information about partner’s hand.  Over double, partner will quite often bid 3NT (though will be awkwardly placed with a weak NT and no spade stop) and then I will bid hearts to show a hand too good for a direct 4Heart-small.  If partner bids 4Club-small I’ll use 4NT key card.”

Pam Livingston “Double: I don't usually play strong no trump so I'm guessing a bit.  The scent of slam is in the air - clubs or hearts.  I certainly think it’s too strong to just bid 4Heart-small.”  

Bruce Anderson “Double: This must be for takeout otherwise I have no way of finding out more about partner’s hand.

If partner bids 3NT showing a weak NT type hand, I will bid 4NT, inviting partner to bid the NT slam unless he/she is a minimum. If partner bids 4Club-small, I can’t use Minorwood so I will bid 4NT (RKC 1430, with clubs as trumps} to establish whether we should be playing a small slam or a grand slam. It is hard to imagine a hand where 5Club-small is our limit if partner has length in clubs; I am not risking a missed slam when I have such a strong hand.

 

In the unlikely event partner bids 4Diamond-small (reverse) I bid 4NT (RKC with diamonds as trumps), and bid at least a small slam in clubs. Finally, if partner bids 4Heart-small I again progress with RKC, with hearts as trumps.”

 

Nigel Kearney “Double: I want to make a slam try but 5Heart-small overstates my heart suit and I have quite a good dummy for clubs. Double is the most convenient way to start and will help us sort out strain before inviting slam. I hope partner doesn't pass the double but I can live with it if he does.”

Stephen Blackstock “Double: A slam is likely, but I need more input from partner to help decide whether we should be in hearts or clubs. His rebid will tell me whether he is balanced, has long clubs, or even a four- card heart suit. At this vulnerability he will be reluctant to pass for penalties, but that doesn’t have to be a tragedy: +500/800 compares adequately with a vulnerable game, and more than adequately with playing the wrong slam.

 

On the system front, 4Club-small and 4Diamond-small should be forcing here – it would be wildly inefficient to use them as merely competing the part-score at this level and vulnerability. A heart single suiter can be bid to play at the appropriate level (5Heart-small invites), so it’s arguable that 4Spade-small should show good hearts and club tolerance, something like what I have. However, I won’t risk 4Spade-small as partner may well not be on the same wave-length and the result will be confusion followed by guessing with very little more information..”

 

So, the doublers seem reasonably content with their action. Not so Michael:

Michael Cornell “6Heart-small: Pre-empts do work! I can see no clear actions so will bid 6Heart-small going down with 7Club-small nearly cold when partner has Spade-smallxxHeart-smallx Diamond-smallxxx Club-smallAKxxxx

Even then though 6Heart-small does have play. The only alternative is double but amongst other things runs the risk of partner passing. The bid I really want to make is 4Diamond-small (transfer with 5+hearts) but that’s not in my system!”

 

and agreeing on the difficulty but not the solution:

Andy Braithwaite “Double. A very difficult problem. I would like to bid 4NT, key card for clubs, to find out about Club-smallAK but this would be stupid if partner held only one key card. 4Heart-small would be a gross underbid. That leaves 4Spade-small and double and since 4Spade-small would promise club support, I choose to double and hope partner does not pass (if they do pass slam will be very unlikely). If partner bids 3NT which is more likely at this vulnerability, I will bid 4Heart-small which should show a very strong hand and be slam invitational.”

All true but leaving it to a weak no-trump type hand to bid on to slam seems to be asking a lot. Double may not be perfect but it seems to cover most possibilities. However, this was a good news day as most actions should lead to the top spot:

East Deals
E-W Vul

10 5

7 5

K Q 10 9 7 5

K 7 6

6

A K Q 8 3 2

A 8 2

Q J 5

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

A J

J 10 6 4

J 6 3

A 10 9 4

 

K Q 9 8 7 4 3 2

9

4

8 3 2

 

West

North

East

South

 

 

1 ♣

3 ♠

?

 

 

 

 

The first piece of good news is that South had bid 3Spade-small when 4Spade-small would have been quite reasonable and maybe even harder to combat. After the double, West would hear 4Heart-small from East..onwards and safely upwards for West. The next piece of good news was the 5Heart-small response to Roman Key Card whether in support of clubs (the action taken at the table) or once hearts was agreed. East got to be declarer in the very safe 6Heart-small slam…well safe on a high spade lead from South, thanks to the working club finesse. 

great news.png

So, there was just one diamond loser in 6Heart-small. Indeed, a very cruel South could have commented that 7Club-small was cold, on this day! Bidding and making the heart slam seems good enough to me. Maybe had a diamond been led and the club finesse failed, then we would have had more sympathy for a 4Heart-small overcall.

Where’s that Multi Suit?

North Deals
None Vul

   

K Q 10 7 5 2

K Q 5

A J 3 2

 

N

W

 

E

S

   

 

West

North

East

South

 

2 

2 ♠

Pass

3 

Pass

4 ♠

Pass

?

 

 

 

 

It’s Teams and North starts proceedings with a Multi which now just has to be a Weak 2 in a major. Mysterious.

Would you bid on or pass? If you bid on, your bid is?

Richard Solomon

 

 

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