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#5 - Hugh's 'Hand of the Week' - Tuesday 5 July

7 committed members met, on a very rainy afternoon, to discuss the hands of the day. Today’s hands were often quite distributional, and a number of slam contracts were possible. We discussed several of them, with some “bidding tricks” along the way:-

  1. #11 was a good example of Roman Key Card Blackwood. West opens with 1S, East responds 2D, showing 10+ points, and West rebids 3S (good suit and 16+ points. East now agrees spades, and with 3 aces and a singleton West goes looking…West bids 4NT…Partner’s 5D shows one “key card” (either an ace or the K of trumps, in this case spades). West bids 5H, which asks for the QS, and East responds 6D, which shows both the QS and the KD, but not the KC….a good fit. West bids confidently to 6S, which makes easily. 7D makes also, but very few would bid it.
  1. #9 is an example of a biddable slam despite intervention. East opens 1H, South overcalls 2D, and West bids 3NT (13 points and stopper(s) in D). East reviews, decides to explore slam and bids 4NT (RKCB in H). West shows 2 aces, East cannot be sure which they are (but the chances are S has AD), and bids 6H, which makes because of the good Club fit.
  1. #20 is an example of a “double-fit” in the majors…and slam succeeds in both. The easier slam to bid is 6H…West opens 1H, East responds 2NT Jakobi (a very popular convention which shows 4-card trump support and points for game). Different pairs have different responses…some use 3D, by West, to show a singleton, and 4D a void; some play 4C as a good second  suit (5 cards with 2 of top 3 or 3 of top 5 honours)…either way, East can check with 4NT and then bid 6H, which, as it happens, makes 7H.

There were other slams, but we generally thought #1 and #10 too hard to bid.

We did discuss the bidding on hand #7. South has an interesting hand and could justify passing, opening with 1C, or pre-empting with 3C. We thought the latter the best (yes, we sometimes pre-empt at the 3 level with 6 of a minor!). North then has a pretty easy 3NT bid, which makes.

HAND OF THE WEEK - Board #5.

You guessed it…another slam…with some more “bidding tricks”.

Yes, North could open 1C, making things harder, but E/W should still get to slam. If North opens 3C (see above), it is definitely harder…but N/S are vulnerable…let’s keep it simple – East opens 1S…whatis West’s bid? In one bid, 4C, a splinter, West describes the hand accurately – a “splinter” is an unnecessary jump, and shows 4 things all at once: (a) 4+ card trump support, (b) a singleton or void in the splinter suit, in this case Clubs, (c) points for game, and (d) some interest in exploring slam.

East accepts the challenge and starts cue-bidding (by arrangement, some pairs cue bid only first round control {ace or void}, and some cue bid either first or second round control {A, K, void or singleton})….so…East bids 4D, West bids 4H, and East bids 4NT (RKCB in spades). West replies 5H, which shows 2 key cards, but denies the QS.

East knows his/her contract may depend on a 2-2 drop in trumps, but is encouraged by the fact partner’s points must be mainly in the 3 suits (s)he is interested in…6S is bid, the QS drops and another slam is made!

To review the hand records for the session on Tuesday 5 July 2022 ... click here

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