Monday, July 13, 2009

Tale of 2 Slams

Had 2 slam (?) hands last week that left me shaking my head a little. On the first, you hold Q97 AKT75 Q5 J83 and hear partner open 1C. You respond 1H and partner now bids 2D, to which you force with 2S to see what is going on. Partner now bids 3C, supposedly showing a good 6-4.

Over 3C you bid 3S again, somewhat ambiguously, and partner now bids 3N. Do you bid on?

Personally, I think you should bid again on this hand, partner has shown a good 6-4 with the reverse and rebid the first suit, then bid NT, presumably showing something in Spades like the A or K. If partner has the A, with a 6-4 hand, how many loosers can there be in Clubs? You have the AK of Hearts to cover the other 2 major cards, partner needs an entry and at worst it is on a hook, and that is with a poor reverse. Any kind of real reverse and partner should be almost able to claim on the opening lead. I think the correct bid here is 4C, showing the Club fit and making a forward going bid.

It turns out partner will force to a slam over that, and it is 1 of the claim versions. Partners hand is Ax x AJTx AKQTxx. The Diamond hook is for 7 on the hand. I think the pass of 3N that occurred at the table is certainly being pessimistic.

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The second hand you hold Axxx 987 x KQxxx and after passing hear it go 1H by partner and a 1S overcall on your right. You bid 3C showing a fit jump in Clubs and Hearts. It now goes 3S on your left, 4C by partner, pass on your right, your call?

I think here that you have shown your hand pretty well with the 3C bid, since you have only 3 Hearts and no honour in the suit. Cue bidding at this point will only get you in trouble unless partner can bid again. I think that now 4H should be your bid and unless partner makes another move over that, you are not missing anything.

At the table, this hand bid 4D, co-operating with the slam, and heard parter bid 6H over that. The opening lead was a high Spade and partner held x AKTxx Kxxx Axx, a good hand, but way overboard on this hand. This shows the reason for needing the Heart honour to bid on with that hand. With Qxx of Hearts instead, this becomes a reasonable if not great slam.

The real tragedy on the hand was the defence though. After winning the A of Spades, declarer played a Diamond to the K and A. At this point a Grosvenor card came back, the J of Hearts. Declarer thought for a while, won the A of Hearts, ruffed a Diamond, hooked the Heart on the way back, and claimed 6 when the Hearts and Clubs behaved. This was so totally bad that it almost defies words, but it did happen and had to be explained to the partners of the person the returned the J of Hearts how the slam made missing the QJxxx of Hearts and both honours not being onside :)

So it was a boring match, loose 12 on the first slam, win 12 on the second, next board, what is the problem? :)

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